Saturday, March 12, 2011


RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Students from Exploris Middle School in Raleigh are safe in Japan after missing Friday's massive earthquake.

The students' plane was supposed to land in Tokyo about ten minutes before the earthquake struck but instead it was delayed in Dallas and later diverted to Osaka.

Some parents were panicked after learning the children's flight didn't land as expected.  One Raleigh family had twins on the trip.

"It was a nerve wracking night because we knew they still weren't there, and one of us had woken up and we had the computer on our room," parent Jennifer Prestifilippo said. "And we looked up at the flight tracker and saw that the plane wasn't showing anymore."  The concerned mother said she and her husband finally got through to American Airlines.

"Their flight from Dallas was scheduled to land in Tokyo at 2:30, which would have been before the earthquake at 2:46 so I am so grateful," Prestifilippo said.

All eight students, their principal and a teacher from Exploris are safe.  "They are in a hotel in Osaka, and they're going to spend the night there and from I understand, they're going to take the bus back to Osaka's airport," Prestifillippo said.

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