The group of frightened students from Finn Valley College in Stranorlar became caught in the lift and had to be eventually freed by firemen.
One of the group of students, who were aged between 15 and 17, had to be hospitalised because of heat exhaustion following the ordeal.
The students became claustrophobic after getting stuck in the lift which was coming down from the fifth floor of the huge ice-skating complex in Nice.
It took firemen more than half an hour to arrive on the scene and begin to free the stricken students.
Last night school principal Frank Dooley admitted that the students became anxious and he said he could not understand why it took so long for the lift to be opened.
“It took the fire department a half an hour to come. During that time of course you had a lot of claustrophobia in the lift.
“You also had heat in the lift, you some had heat exhaustion. You had some with claustrophobia, which would be understandable because it was an inordinate time it took the fire department to come, over half an hour.
“Something that would be routine, you would wonder why the fire dept had to come but that is the procedure over there,” he said.
Mr Dooley thanked staff at the centre whom he said kept in contact with the students throughout their ordeal by internal video camera and also verbally.
He also paid tribute to Lisa Herron, the young teacher caught in the lift with the students throughout their late-night ordeal which happened around 11pm.
“Lisa was very professional and I would like to thank her on behalf of the school for looking after the students so well during the incident,” he added.