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Terrified father discovers son, 5, isn't at school pick-up after slipping past teachers

After an extensive half hour search, Lukas Hunka, 5, was found on the side of a busy main road after bypassing five security gates and several teachers to walk off school grounds. (Reach)
After an extensive half hour search, Lukas Hunka, 5, was found on the side of a busy main road after bypassing five security gates and several teachers to walk off school grounds. (Reach)

A school has apologised after a five-year-old boy went missing for half an hour before being found beside a main road.

Lukas Hunka arrived to collect his son, also called Lukas, after school, but nobody knew where he was.

A search was launched but it took half an hour to locate the boy who had walked past five security gates and, according to his father, a number of teachers.

Hunka, 25, says the incident has left him worried about leaving the house with his son as he is so terrified to lose him again.

A spokesperson for Newbury Park Primary School in Redbridge, Essex, apologised for the incident and said an investigation had been launched to improve security measures.

On 21 November, Hunka arrived at the school at 3.30pm and, after telling teachers who he was there to collect, says he was met with panic. He claims the staff had no idea where his son was and said they would check the toilets to see if the boy had hidden in there.

Lukas Hunka was left terrified when he arrived to pick up his five-year-old son from school and teachers had no idea where the boy was. (Reach)
Lukas Hunka was left terrified when he arrived to pick up his five-year-old son from school and teachers had no idea where the boy was. (Reach)

"She came back and I could tell that something was wrong," he said. "She said, 'I'm sorry but we can't find your son'. A couple of teachers started looking for him everywhere in the school but not all of them, just a couple of teachers. There was panic, and the teacher was crying. She had tears in her eyes."

A teacher then tracked down the five-year-old who had wandered out onto the road outside the school.

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“It was raining that day so he was completely wet and he was shocked," Hunka said. "He only just turned five - he's really tiny and when I saw him... I was already crying but I started crying even more but it was tears of joy."

He added: "I told him, 'You can't do this. Why did you do this?' He said, 'I went to look for you so we could go to the beach in case you can find me a dinosaur egg'.”

5-year-old Lukas Tunka slipped past teachers and through security gates and was missing for half an hour before being found by a main road near Newbury Park Primary School. (Google Street View)
Staff at Newbury Park Primary School in Redbridge have apologised and an investigation has been launched. (Google Street View)

Hunka has since said he will "refuse to bring [his child] back to that school".

A Newbury Park Primary School spokesperson said: "The safety and welfare of children at our school is our number one priority. We can confirm an incident concerning a year one pupil occurred earlier this week.

"We are treating this with the utmost seriousness. We've conducted an urgent and thorough investigation surrounding the circumstances of the incident. We will do everything we can to prevent anything like this from happening again.

"Following our investigation, we will submit a report to the local authority, Chair of Governors and The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), which includes several recommendations relating to improved security measures at the school. We are in touch with the pupil's parents and have offered our sincerest apologies for what happened."