A RUNAWAY couple who fled to the Caribbean from Stonyhurst College are believed to be safe and well, police said.

Lancashire Police said they had traced the sixth form students to the Dominican Republic and were working closely with the families to trace their exact location.

The Foreign Office confirmed they were providing consulate assistance to the families.

Edward Bunyan and Indira Gainiyeva, both 16, left the 400-year-old college at around 3am on Monday in a taxi before boarding a plane at Manchester Airport.

A full review of the security at the college will be undertaken after Edward, who has dual British and Spanish citizenship, and Indira, who is from Kazakhstan, left during the night.

Matthew Mostyn, second master at Stonyhurst College, said: “It has been a very difficult time for the school but the families in particular.

“They are deeply concerned for their children and the police are working with them closely.

“They were discovered missing when they didn’t turn up for registration on Monday morning and a full search of the buildingswas conducted.

“A further of search of the grounds was conducted and the police were informed.

“The students reacted with predicable excitement to the news but after the novelty of it wore off, they have become concerned about their friends.

“It’s quite difficult to leave the college at night without anyone seeing you and that will be looked in to.

“A full investigation will be carried out into our security system after the students have been found safe and well.

“We have an excellent and reliable security system here at Stonyhurst but it is designed to keep intruders out and not students in. The good news is that the police seem to making good progress and we are hopeful that there will be a happy ending to this.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the media reports and are looking into them. We are providing consulate assistance to the family.”

According to Edward’s Facebook page, he attended St Michael’s University School, a private boarding school, in Canada from 2007 to 2010 before joining Stonyhurst. Previously, he was schooled at Colegio Montecalpe in Spain.

He has also attended Sotogrande International School in Spain in his hometown.

His Facebook page also states that he has lived in Madeira, Toronto in Canada and Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.

Indira, originally from Kazakhstan, previously attended Ovingdean Hall International Language School in Brighton.

Her Facebook page states she can speak Russian, Kazakh, Tatar and Spanish.