A 5-year-old child dies after being left on the school bus by the driver for several hours

A 5-year-old boy died in Saudi Arabia on Sunday after being left on a school bus for several hours.

The incident took place in Qatif governorate in the country’s Eastern province.

The child – identified as Hassan Hashim Al Shoala – is believed to have died of asphyxiation, according to the Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

Authorities said the driver of the bus locked the vehicle without confirming if all the children got out. The driver then exited the bus in front of the school and did not return, Gulf News reported.

Saeed Al Bahes, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education in the Eastern Province, told local media the incident happened because of the driver’s forgetfulness. The temperatures in Qatif on Sunday were up to 40 degrees Celsius.

“The region’s Ministry of Education, under the close follow-up of its Director, Dr. Sami Al-Otaibi formed a work team to visit the school and carry out the necessary procedures related to all aspects of the tragic incident,” Bahes said Monday.

He also expressed his sadness at the death of the child and offered his condolences to the victim’s family.

It is not yet clear whether charges have been filed against the driver. There were no reports of arrests in the incident.

In a similar incident last month, a 4-year-old Indian girl died after being locked on a school bus in Qatar. The girl – identified as Minsa Mariyam Jacob – reportedly fell asleep on her way to school. The staff didn’t realize she was still in the vehicle and left.

When some employees returned to the bus after a few hours, they noticed that the girl was unresponsive. She was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. Doctors said the child suffocated due to the intense heat

Qatar’s Education Ministry launched an investigation into the death, calling for the “maximum penalty” for those responsible.

“The Ministry of Education and Higher Education has decided to close the private kindergarten that witnessed the tragic accident that shook the community with the death of one of the students, after the investigation proved the negligence of the workers, who were subjected to the most severe penalties . The Department renews its commitment to ensure the safety of our students across our various educational institutions,” it tweeted at the time.

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