BARRY students visiting New York on a school trip have been confirmed safe and well, after narrowly evading the city's worst terrorist attack since 9/11 which killed eight people earlier this week.

Sixth form pupils from Ysgol Bro Morgannwg were within the vicinity of the attack when it took place, having walked down Chambers Street, Manhattan, where it occurred, around an hour previously.

The attack saw pedestrians mowed down by a truck on a busy cycling path on Tuesday morning local time. A suspect has since been arrested and charged with terrorism offences.

The 25 pupils and three teachers from the school had arrived in New York the previous night, and were making their way from the 9/11 memorial pools to the High Line - an abandoned railway line and now landscape architecture icon on the west side of Manhattan, when they first heard reports of the incident.

Deputy head teacher Catrin Bennett said that despite seeing early indications that something had happened, there appeared to be no initial cause for concern.

"We heard all the sirens, but everyone around us seemed pretty unaware of what was going on. We did comment on it at the time but after that nobody was really talking about it," said Ms Bennett.

"Then about half an hour later a parent called one of the boys to say they'd seen what had happened on BBC News. We started sending out messages to parents to let everyone know we were safe."

Ms Bennett says the group, who by the time of the attack were between one-and-a-half to two miles away, saw scores of emergency services vehicles pass them by, with the teachers doing their best to minimise any concern.

"They were picking up on what was happening from texts from their parents, but we didn’t have a lot of internet access. We were keeping an eye on reports, but we were trying to keep it from them as best as possible.

"Obviously they have Wi-fi and 4g so they were picking up on some things."

Despite having to alter their plans somewhat following the attack – including cancelling their visit to the world-famous Village Hallowe'en Parade – the group chose to remain in New York after the incident, and Ms Bennett remarked that the attitude in the city has been very much one of defiance.

"In New York itself there was no sense of panic whatsoever," she said.

"As we were coming back to the hotel there were a huge amount of people just carrying on with their activities as normal. There were people dressing up for the parade later that night and just getting on with it."

Both students and teachers are set to return home tomorrow.