6-year-old dies after being left behind on Dubai school bus
Dubai - The cause of death was not immediately known.
A six-year-old Indian boy died after he was forgotten in a bus for several hours in Dubai on Saturday. The child, identified as Mohamed Farhan Faisal from the south Indian state of Kerala, was a pupil at an Islamic centre in Al Quoz. According to family sources, he had dozed off after boarding the bus from Karama. He was left behind after all the other students disembarked outside the centre at 8am.
The Dubai Police told Khaleej Times they were notified about the tragedy at 3pm. A top official from the centre said he was found as the driver took the bus out to drop the students back home.
Also read: 5-year-old dies in UAE due to heat in locked car
The police said the body was shifted to the forensic department at 6pm for an autopsy.
The official cause of death hadn't been declared at the time of going to press. The mortal remains will be handed over to the family after all legal and administrative procedures have been completed.
The boy was the youngest of three children. He had joined the centre earlier this year. Hailing from the coastal town of Muzhappilangad in Kannur district, his parents are long-time residents of Dubai and the family resides in Karama. His father Faisal runs multiple businesses in Dubai and Kerala.
"I had met the family during a get-together just last week. He was such a bright boy. His parents are in a state of shock," said a close family member, who requested not to be named.
The police were still on the campus when Khaleej Times visited the centre in the evening. Parents who were picking their children up from the centre expressed shock over the tragedy. "I don't know many details, but it's very sad to hear. I am praying for his parents and family," one womanmother said.
The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, which oversees all Quran centres in Dubai, offered its condolences to the boy's family. "We are working with the Dubai Police to investigate the tragic incident," it said.
Such instances are rare in the UAE, but have been reported previously. In 2014, a KG1 pupil at Abu Dhabi's Al Worood Academy Private School, Nizaha Ala'a, suffocated to death after being forgotten inside a bus. The news had shocked the nation and sparked a major discussion on child safety in buses.
The principal, bus driver and supervisor were jailed and directed to pay Dh100,000 in blood money to the girl's family.
After the incident, Abu Dhabi's Department of Knowledge and Education ensured that all school buses were fitted with cameras and sensors that can detect the presence of a child, even after the engine has been turned off.
Last year, another KG1 student was forgotten inside a school for over four hours. Fortunately, the child survived.
Locked vehicles are a death trap, say doctors
Leaving a child inside a closed vehicle, especially in Dubai's scorching heat, can cause severe damage to the body and lead to death, according to a doctor. It's life-threatening to an adult body, but is "even worse" for children as their bodies start dehydrating faster.
"The child will lose fluids, get severe dehydration and suffer from suffocation when left in a bus under this heat," said Dr Farah, who works at the Garhoud Private Hospital's emergency department.
Another doctor had told Khaleej Times earlier that the temperature inside a vehicle can increase by around 20°C in just 10 minutes and 40°C in an hour. "Do not think that you need just one minute to have fuel filled up, or to go to the grocery store and then get held up. The moment you realise the harm, it could be a moment too late," the doctor had said.
The temperatures in Dubai have been rising over past few days. As reported previously, the mercury hit the 49°C mark on Friday.
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