ELEVEN members of a Welsh children's choir were taken to hospital suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting after arriving back in the UK from South Africa.

Medical staff checked 60 members of the Only Kids Aloud choir, including seven from Gwent, after they arrived at Heathrow Airport from Cape Town via Dubai. Eleven were taken to Hillingdon Hospital in west London but were later discharged.

It is not known if the children from Gwent were among those taken to hospital.

The choir was returning from a trip to Cape Town to mark 20 years of democracy where they performed with opera singer Bryn Terfel, when they were taken ill on the flight to Heathrow, complaining of diarrhoea and vomiting.

The London Ambulance Service was informed at 7.41am and four ambulance crews, one emergency cycle responder and the hazardous area response team were sent.

A spokeswoman for the London Ambulance Service said: “A total of sixty children aged between 10 and 14 were treated at the scene with 11 sent to Hillingdon Hospital.”

In 2012 Wales Millennium Centre teamed up with Only Men Aloud’s Musical Director Tim Rhys Evans to form a joint choir of youngsters across Wales.

Auditions were held country-wide and last year the Wales Millennium Centre announced the final group who had been chosen to represent Wales in the new choir.

But it is not yet known if these children were among those who had fallen ill.

The children who were taken to hospital were later discharged and were able to head home to Wales.

Bet Davies, of the Wales Millennium Centre said: "Some were sick on takeoff, some on landing and some during the turbulence.

"The medics say it could have been somebody with a bit of a bug before they travelled or it could be a combination of what I describe as nausea, tiredness and not drinking enough."

The youngsters flew out on Tuesday to performed in Cape Town Opera in South Africa during cultural celebrations to mark 20 years of the end of apartheid rule.

There was an audience of 1,700 people on the gala night on Saturday after which they had a standing ovation before they went to Robben Island.

Ms Davies added: “We have been on a very intense programme - they performed Friday night to Saturday night to sell-out audiences in Cape Town Opera.

"They have been rehearsing intensely over the past few days and they have not had that much sleep."