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School closed after boy dies in bus tragedy

MANAMA: A five-year-old Bahraini boy died after he was allegedly left on a school bus for up to six hours.

It is claimed Rashid Fadhel Buzuhair was locked inside the vehicle yesterday as temperatures outside reached nearly 40C.

The boy was only discovered at around midday in a weakened state, at the end of the school day, and reportedly died on the way to the International Hospital of Bahrain.

Police confirmed the tragedy, which has sent shock waves across the country, with many people taking to social media websites to express their sorrow and anger.

The Interior Ministry said an investigation had been launched.

The principal of Al Rawbi Private School, the Bahraini bus driver and a bus supervisor have been taken into custody pending investigation, Northern Governorate's prosecution chief Hussain Al Buali said.

The Public Prosecution questioned them and charged them with causing, through negligence, the tragic death of the student, Mr Al Buali said.

He said initial investigations revealed the bus supervisor was a cleaner at the school, but was assigned by the principal to fulfil the task. Also, the bus driver did not have a valid driving licence.

The Education Ministry said it had suspended all studies at the school for all ages, from kindergarten up to secondary school.

Speaking exclusively to the GDN last night, Education Minister Dr Majid Al Nuaimi said the school's management had admitted its shortcomings in providing students a safe educational environment.

"The school's operations have been suspended and it will remain closed until we conclude investigations," the minister said.

"We understand concerns that education will be disrupted, but children's lives matter more, and students can catch up with classes later on," he said.

He added the ministry is considering setting up an interim board comprising directors from the ministry to run the school.



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