Dubai: A six-year-old boy died after he was forgotten inside a bus for several hours in Dubai, Dubai Police said on Saturday.
The Asian boy was forgotten inside a bus belonging to the Centre for Memorising Quran in the Al Quoz area from 8am onwards on Saturday. Dubai Police have confirmed that the driver and bus supervisor are being questioned over negligence.
A family friend identified the boy as Mohammed Farhan, son of Faisal K.P, who hails from the south Indian state of Kerala. Dubai Police have confirmed that the driver and bus supervisor are being questioned over negligence.
Tragedy struck Farhan’s family just ahead of his eldest sister’s wedding, scheduled to be held on July 25, the family friend told Gulf News.
He said Farhan was the youngest of four children.
“He has three elder sisters. They got him after many years’ gap.”
Farhan was the favourite of the whole family.
“But he was the closest to his father. When his mother went home recently for 10 days he didn’t go with her because he wanted to stay with his father. The entire family has been shattered with this tragedy. They were all supposed to fly home for his eldest sister’s wedding on July 25.”
Dubai Police said the boy was alone inside the bus after all other children had alighted.
Colonel Faisal Al Qasim, Director of Security Media at Dubai Police, said the boy was left inside the bus for nine hours after the driver closed the door without checking if there was anyone inside.
“Command Room received a call about the body of the child inside the private bus of the centre. Officers went to the location and found that the bus had carried a group of young children to the centre in the morning. After all students left, the bus door closed but one child got left behind. It was only at 3pm that his body was found,” he said.
He urged parents not to leave children unattended in cars and called on bus drivers and school supervisors to be more vigilant.
“Dubai police always warn the public and bus drivers about the importance of checking the bus before closing it, especially if it is carrying children.”
A number of children in the UAE have died after being left behind in their school bus over the years.
In October 2014, Nizaha Ala, a four-year-old Indian girl, died after being left locked inside her school bus in Abu Dhabi.
That incident followed a similar case six years earlier, when another four-year-old Indian child, Aathish Shabin, died after he was left locked inside the school bus in April 2008, also in Abu Dhabi.
In May 2009, Aimen Zeeshan, a kindergarten student in Abu Dhabi, had also died in similar circumstances. She died in a private bus arranged by the parents to take her to school.
Other children have died while locked inside their family car. Last year, Dubai Police rescued at least 69 children trapped inside vehicles. In 2017, the force had responded to 76 such cases.
If a child is found locked inside the vehicle, the public should immediately call the emergency, instead of panicking. They should try to cover the car from direct sunlight, in order to keep the temperature lower inside.
If the emergency response takes time, the best intervention is to break the window glass. Target the side window glass farthest from the child to avoid injury to the child. Use any small pointed object or stone to hit the glass with just enough force.
Hot car effect
What happens to the human body when it is trapped inside a car during hot weather has been widely discussed in the aftermath of such events.
According to experts, the human body suffers from a series of adverse health effects inside a hot locked car. One expert said the temperature could go up to 60 degrees Celsius inside a car during the current spell of weather.
Children are especially at risk as their body temperature rises three to five times faster than adults. The effects of heatstroke or hyperthermia can be fatal, he said.
Health care experts said one of the first ways in which the body reacts is to sweat a lot in order to keep itself cool. People, especially children, start becoming agitated and even confused as the temperature rises. Children are less likely to start thinking of shedding clothes to ward off some heat.
When the body can’t rehydrate from the loss of water through sweat, dizziness sets in — a sign that the body is overheating.
Dehydration causes a lack of oxygen to the brain.
Eventually, the body becomes too hot and suffers from heatstroke. It no longer sweats because it cannot regulate its internal temperature any more. The skin turns dry and hot.
From this point onwards, a string of critical health effects take can hold — severe dehydration, renal and gastritis failure, circulatory failure and neurological symptoms, including hallucinations, seizures, psychological trauma, coma — and eventually death.