Soldiers sent to rescue B.C. students in Haiti
Last Updated: Sunday, January 17, 2010 | 9:29 AM ET Comments149Recommend86

CBC News

The Canadian Forces launched a mission Sunday to rescue 17 British Columbia high school students and their chaperons, stranded in Haiti since last week's devastating earthquake.

Students, teachers and volunteers from Mount Sentinel School and the Kootenay Christian Fellowship group are about 50 kilometres outside the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

A school secretary suffered at least one broken rib, but no other injuries are reported in the group. A search and rescue helicopter will fly members to the Canadian Embassy.

The students and their seven chaperons have been sleeping outdoors on plywood and have been robbed of about $10,000.

The group, from the town of South Slocan, west of Nelson, went to Haiti on a humanitarian mission. They landed just hours before the earthquake hit.

Norm Ouellet says he's anxious to be reunited with his 17-year-old son, Blake, who is part of the group.

"It's incredible. You know, they were sent down there to do some humanitarian work and they have obviously experienced more in four or five days than most of us will experience in a lifetime," he told CBC. "We know the government is working really hard to get our kids out, but the patience of going through this is just unbearable."

The group is with at least 13 other Canadians, including a baby. They, too, will be brought to the embassy.