Five-year-old Jawaher and her brother Wael, 3, were held inside a locked car for a long time. Image Credit: Video grab

Dubai: Saudi authorities have opened an investigation into a video circulated on social media, showing two children locked in a parked car under the sun. The video has sparked a nationwide outrage, local media reported.

The shocking video shows a three-year-old boy and his five-year-old sister while they are held inside a car for a long time. The footage was filmed by an unknown person who happened to pass by the vehicle and saw the children caught inside the car.

The anonymous rescuer continued to film the two children when they finally got off the car and seemed extremely exhausted. They had difficulty breathing and collapsed on the ground. They then started crying and the girl started to vomit, having endured the high summer temperature for too long.

The video, which also shows them heading towards their home near the location where they were stuck inside the car, was widely circulated on social media amid requests to investigate the incident and hold their parents accountable.

The family protection unit quickly responded by launching an investigation into the incident and explore the scope of implementing child protection laws against the parents.

On its Twitter account, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development said its Family Protection Unit had opened an investigation into the incident after receiving several complaints on social media platforms.

The ministry has coordinated with competent authorities to identify the children’s identity and reach their family with an aim to enforce the child protection law against negligent parents.

The children were later identified as Wa’el and his sister Jawaher.

The Family Protection Unit, which is investigating the incident, urged community members to report any case of child abuse by calling the domestic violence Centre on 1919.

People on Tweeter expressed their displeasure and anger over the incident under hashtag #Missing _Jawaher _ Wael, holding their family responsible for the children's ordeal and asking the authorities to take legal action against the parents.