DUBAI: Three quick-thinking friends rescued a child locked inside a car in the parking lot of a Dubai mall last week.
The girl had been left behind by her mother who had reportedly gone into a shop at the Town Centre Plaza in The Springs, around 3.30pm last Wednesday.
Noticing the child with a sweaty red face, a small crowd gathered around the car and began banging on the doors to wake her up, but she wouldn't move.
"It was really hot, the car was locked and the girl seemed to have passed out," said British student Ahmad Zeidan, 17, who along with his Emirati friends Shehab Al Hijazi and Mohammad Al Rahma, both 16, rushed out from a fast-food restaurant on seeing the crowd. "She must have been unconscious or really fast asleep - people were screaming and even shaking the car. She was red in the face, sweating heavily," said Zeidan.
Al Hijazi immediately called the police and requested an ambulance too. "But we had to do something - no one knew how long she had been there," added Al Rahma. "We decided to break the window. A guy there told us he had golf clubs in his car," Zeidan added.
Al Hijazi said some bystanders advised against the move fearing legal complications, fines or injuries. But the trio said they would take full responsibility.
The mother returned at this point and was in "absolute shock" by the development, Zeidan said.
"She didn't know about the auto-lock system, which shuts the doors and windows after a few minutes when the key is left inside. We asked for permission [to break in] and she said ‘yes, anything, anything'. Besides, it was completely safe. I know these cars, the windows don't shatter all over the place; they're coated with a special film," Al Hijazi said.
Zeidan said: "We opened the doors and let the mother - I believe she's Iranian - wake up the girl, who's around five years old. The child was just looking around, not saying anything. And then she started crying, but calmed down later. The mother kept thanking us."
Al Rahma added: "But it was the least we could do. The police were there quickly and they said we did the right thing."
Medics on the scene checked the girl while police filed some paperwork, Zeidan said. The mother and child drove off shortly afterwards.
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