An 18-year-old teen has died while on a graduation trip in Varadero, Cuba, her family confirmed Saturday.
Alex Sagriff, from Belleville, Ont., was a student from St. Theresa Catholic School and was in Cuba for a high school graduation trip, organized by the Toronto-based S-Trip company.
A written statement from the family asks for privacy during this difficult time and adds they do not know much regarding the circumstances of the incident but that their priority is getting her home.
“Alex was an amazing young woman, she had a ton of friends, and has a ton of family who loves her,” read the statement.
The school board wrote in a statement that the school principal, vice-principal and staff, as well as a bereavement and crisis response team have been on site at St. Theresa to support all students and its staff.
“The well-being of our students and staff is and continues to be a priority. The Board response team will continue to be at the school over the next several days, and in collaboration with our community partners, information for accessing community supports has and will continue to be made available to students, parents and staff.”
Jordyn DeClair, who had known Sagriff since elementary school and had graduated with her from St. Theresa, described the 18-year-old as “outgoing and well spirited” and said “she was loved by all.”
Tributes have been pouring in over social media, with one Twitter user named Alex Supryka writing, “My heart is broken right now. You were one of the nicest girls I have ever met. And I am so sorry @alex_sagriff, no teen nor parent should ever have to go through this pain, and I will forever be sorry that I couldn’t help you in a time of need. rest in peace beautiful. ”
Another user, Danielle Lentini wrote, “Thoughts and prayers to the Sagriff family and all friends. Amazing girl gone too soon, rest in peace Alex.”
Sagriff was set to attend Loyalist College in the fall.
The Canadian government has confirmed the death, but can’t reveal further details due to privacy concerns.
The government says consular officials are in touch with local officials in Cuba and are also in touch with the person’s family.
Global News reached out to S-Trip but at the time of publication, had not heard back.
The incident comes just days after a 15-year-old student died on a school trip in Algonquin Provincial Park, The Toronto District School Board confirmed Wednesday.
Jeremiah Perry was reported missing Tuesday night while on an outdoor educational field trip with six staff members and 32 other students from C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute and Westview Centennial Secondary School in Toronto.
—With files from The Canadian Press and David Shum