Abu Dhabi: A four-year-old Indian girl was found dead in the UAE’s capital city several hours after her school van was locked up by the driver and supervisor even though she had fallen asleep inside, police said Wednesday.
Naziha Lal Ahmed, the kindergarten student of a private Al Worood school in Abu Dhabi, was found dead Tuesday at the end of the school day after she apparently suffocated inside the locked bus on a hot day, emirates247.com reported.
“The bus driver and supervisor are principally responsible for the child’s death. The rules we have set are very clear and they are intended to upgrade safety on school buses,” a semi-official Arabic language daily quoted Abu Dhabi traffic police chief Hussein Al Harthi as saying.
The little girl’s family blamed the caretakers for being negligent.
“We lost our granddaughter because of negligence and a grave mistake by persons who are supposed to look after school children, not leaving them to die inside buses,” the child’s grandfather Asghar Ali said.
“How can they lock the bus without checking whether there are any school children left inside,” he asked.
Anand Bardhan, counsellor (Community Affairs) at Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi, expressed shock over Naziha’s death.
“I did try and speak to the father of the child, but he was not in the right frame of mind to talk. However, I did talk to a close family friend, who told me that the family is in a state of shock.
“It’s a tragic incident and we will extend all assistance to the family,” he said.