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Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Prince flees school in fire alert
Prince Andrew
The Duke of York was opening a science block
Prince Andrew has been rushed out of a school in north Wales after a hot tea urn set off a fire alarm.

The Duke of York, on his first official visit to Flintshire, was at the Connah's Quay High School to open a 2.3m science and music wing.


Prince Andrew handled the matter very well indeed, he was very flexible and quick-witted

Lord Barry Jones

The prince was about to unveil an official plaque when the fire alarm sounded.

Organisers decided to evacuate building and move the prince, guests and around 150 children who had come to see the ceremony during their half term holiday, outside.

Unperturbed, Prince Andrew carried on with the plaque unveiling and joked that all the fire safety people could go back into the building to put the fire out.

"Spontaneity is the result of great planning," he said.

School officials said a tea urn caused the alarm, and that there had been no fire and no danger to the prince.

Lord Barry Jones, the former MP for Alyn and Deeside, was also at the ceremony.

Building project

"Prince Andrew handled the matter very well indeed. He was very flexible and quick-witted," he said.

"The evacuation happily led to glorious sunlight and he presided over a very spontaneous ceremony outside."

The visit was arranged to celebrate the completion of two years of building work at the school.

Construction of the new two-storey classroom block began in November 1999.

Substantial extensions and changes to the existing school were also carried out during the two-year project.


More from north east Wales
See also:

16 Apr 02 | N Ireland
02 Jun 02 | Breakfast with Frost
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