BOSTON (CBS) – Thousands of foreigners are struggling to escape the chaos in Egypt, including local college students.
Getting out of the country takes a lot of planning, but a local company is ready. In the nerve center at Boston-based “Global Rescue,” staffers are scrambling to pluck clients out of Egypt.
“We’re the red button that companies push when bad things happen,” said Dan Richards of Global Rescue.
In this case, the “bad thing” is the deepening anti-government upheaval, which has many American businessmen, students, and tourists in Egypt looking for a quick, safe way out.
WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports.
Global Rescue was planning for such exits by plane, train, and boat long before the crisis erupted.
On Friday, the firm sent in a ground team of former Navy Seals to help carry out the mission.
“While people do, and rightly so, get very concerned about whatever the current crisis is that’s happening, we deal with crises every day,” said Richards.
Among those trapped in the turmoil are thousands of American students studying overseas like Kyleen Burke. She’s in Cairo with a handful of others from Gordon College in Wenham, and the school is now trying to fly them to Turkey.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports about the Gordon College students in Egypt.
“You just don’t know. It’s so unstable, you want her out, and you want to be able to give her a big hug to know that she’s safe,” said Jim Burke, the girl’s dad.
Global Rescue just flew two dozen Middlebury College students to safety in the Czech Republic, but the firm is quick to point out that a different game plan might be needed for the 200 other Americans they plan to extract.
“The realities on the ground are always different and unique, and they’re always changing,” said Richards.
Colby College student Audrey Gourlie called her parents in Concord, Massachusetts Monday afternoon to tell them she was in the Cairo airport waiting for a promised flight out. She spent the last few nights with the army stationed outside her dorm.
Two Boston College students are also coming home.
All told, there are about 52,000 Americans in Egypt. About 1,000 of them work for the U.S. government.