Ramallah: The children who survived the tragic schoolbus accident earlier this week that killed 14 pupils will be in need of pyschological therapy to deal with the huge trauma they faced.
A truck lost contol in rainy weather and rammed into a Palestinian school bus on Thursday, causing deaths after it overturned and caught fire after the impact, authorities said.
Speaking to Gulf News, the children recounted what happened to them on that fateful day.
Five-year-old Yousuf Hassan woke up to a pain killer shot. Yousuf sustained serious injuries to his head and neck. His upper jaw was severely damaged and all of his teeth were broken. "I cannot forget the burning bus," he said.
Four-year-old Rahaf Al Rasheq said she had managed to escape the bus on her own. "No one helped me," she said.
With tears streaming down his cheeks, five-year-old Mohammad begged his mother not to send him on a bus any more. "I hate the bus. It explodes and burst in flames. I will die if I go on a bus," he said. Mohammad has been traumatised by the accident, his monther said. "My son wakes up every now and then crying and shouting -fire, fire," she said.
Mohammad said he was taken out of the bus by a civilian man and was brought to the hospital with six other children in a private car. "Everybody in the bus was crying and shouting. I can not forget the scene. It terrifies me," he said.
Four-year-old Nagham Al Ramlawi has vowed never to get on a bus. "We were scared when the bus burst in flames, and all the kids around me died with the fire eating their bodies," she said.
Ahmad Al Ramlawi, Nagham's uncle said his niece was in a hysterical condition shouting that all her classmates were burned to death. "My two kids stand in need for psychological therapy. I have already consulted a psychologist who will start immediate sessions to both my kids," said Manar Al Rasheq, the mother.
The families of the kids held the Israeli occupation fully responsible for what ended up a tragedy. The families said that the Jaba'a Military Checkpoint is less than 100 metres away from the accident scene and the Israeli colony of Adam was only 200 metres away.
Israeli authorities saw the accident, heard the cries and shouts of the kids, and witnessed the bus bursting into flames but never acted for help until passersby put out the fire with their personal extinguishers and used rainwater from the streets to douse the flames.