Indian child dies after being locked up in school bus

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Dubai, Apr 26 (UNI) A four-year-old kindergarten student from Kerala died after he was allegedly left for four hours in a locked school van in Abu Dhabi.

Aathish, a KG grade one pupil of Merry Land kindergarten on Muroor Road in Abu Dhabi, boarded the van on Thursday morning and a phone call from the school at 1250 hrs (local time) said he had met with an accident, his father told Gulf News.

''When my wife, father and friends reached Shaikh Khalifa Medical City, the doctors said the child was dead,'' said Shebin Sreedher who works at Jebel Ali in Dubai.

''He was my only son,'' he said. Dhanya, the boy's mother, works for Etihad Airways.

''A hospital report said the cause of the death was unknown, but we came to know from officials that he suffocated,'' said Mr Sreedher.

''We came to know that he did not alight from the van at the kindergarten. He was put in the van at 0735 hrs (local time) by my father. It is suspected that no staff checked whether the boy alighted from the bus and reached the class,'' said Mr Sreedher adding, ''The driver and attendant might have taken the bus to the parking space and found the boy inside the bus in the afternoon.'' A spokesman for the school said the child had taken ill and was absent from classes for three days. He said they were not aware the child had boarded the bus that morning.

UNI XC PD AS1044

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