‘MISUNDERSTANDING’ at an East Lancashire primary school sparked online rumours of an attempted child abduction.

Parents unknowingly posted the half-truth on Facebook to warn others they believed a man had attempted to snatch a child outside a school.

Another post made on Wednesday said: “A couple of guys tried to pick up a kid from nursery in Blackburn today.

“Thank God, the child was off sick. The parents didn’t know the men and now police are involved.”

It was shared by worried parents more than 100 times but, yesterday, police said it was a case of mis-information.

A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said an incident reported at Waterfoot Primary School in Rossendale may have been to blame for the viral hearsay.

On Tuesday, a drunken man asked a teacher at the Wolfenden Green school where ‘Tracey’ was.

Staff members, fearing the man was inquiring about a pupil with the same name, called police and the pupil’s mother who was then concerned that a man was trying to abduct her daughter.

A short police enquiry revealed the man was due to meet a pupil’s mother at the school gates and was referring to her when he asked the teacher of ‘Tracey’s’ whereabouts.

The spokeswoman added: “It was all just a bit of a misunderstanding.”

Simon Jones, headteacher at Waterfoot Primary, said “This was a rather peculiar incident involving a man who appeared to be very confused, and was struggling to make himself understood.”