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UAE school bus tragedy: Parents of student killed in accident appeal for tighter supervision

Sheikha Hassan's parents have urged schools to ensure buses have a supervisor



File
File
by

Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Wed 16 Feb 2022, 5:16 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Feb 2022, 6:47 PM

The grieving parents of 12-year-old Sheikha Hassan, who was run over in Ajman on Tuesday, have urged authorities to ensure each school bus has a supervisor to avoid such tragic accidents.

The father of the Grade 6 student at Umm Ammar School said trained supervisors should be employed by schools and bus transport companies to ensure safety of students from the moment they enter the bus until they exit the bus and are safely handed over to their guardians, parents or domestic helpers.

He said his youngest daughter was a calm and loveable child and was also a good student.

A neighbour who witnessed the horrific accident said that the little girl and her elder sister got off the bus when the bus stopped near their home. While the elder sister quickly ran across and entered her house, the younger child was a little late.

As she was trying to cross over to the other side, the driver had already begun moving the bus and ran over the child, as he could not see her walking in front of the vehicle. The girl died on the spot as her head was crushed by the tyre.

The neighbour said students saw Sheikha under the bus and screamed to alert the driver, but by then, it was too late.

Seeing the gory scene, kids went into panic and started crying hysterically, witnesses said.

Alia Al Shamsi, a parent, said with schools teaching remotely for more than a year during the pandemic and a combination of on-site and remote learning since then, some schools and school transport companies were reluctant to hire bus supervisors to save costs.

She said this accident was a wake up call for all, and urged authorities to make it mandatory for schools and transport companies to employ bus supervisors when students are studying on-site.

Lt. Colonel Saif Abdullah Al Falasi, director of traffic and patrols department at Ajman Police, said that as soon as the operations room received a report at 3.48pm on Tuesday about the run-over accident involving a student at Umm Ammar School, police patrol and ambulance cars were immediately dispatched to the site. But officials found that the student had died after suffering a severe head injury. Investigations revealed there was no supervisor on the bus.

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Lt. Colonel Al Falasi said that when the bus stopped next to Sheikha Hassan’s house, she got out and began crossing the road from right to left. The bus driver began moving the vehicle without paying attention and ran over the child. The driver was arrested and legal measures have been initiated against him. A report will be handed over to the Ministry of Education he said.

Al Falasi urged bus drivers to be extremely careful at all times and abide by traffic laws and regulations. He said it is critical that drivers always pay attention when students board or exit from a bus, and not be preoccupied with anything else.


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