A young girl suffocated in a locked school bus in roughly 40°C heat on her fourth birthday, it has been claimed.
Staff forgot Minsa Maryam Jacob was in the vehicle after she dozed off in Qatar on Sunday, September 11, reports suggest.
Young Minsa did not get off the bus when it arrived at her Springfield Kindergarten in Al Wakrah, Doha.
Staff then appear to have locked the bus, unaware that she was still asleep on board.
They did not discover Minsa unconscious until that afternoon, when they returned to the vehicle to take the youngsters back home.
Medics rushed the child to a local hospital but were unable to save her.
The exact temperatures in Doha at the time are unclear but it is thought to have been between around 36°C and 43°C that day.
It is likely that inside the bus the temperature would have been significantly higher.
Minsa’s parents – Kochuparambil Abhilash Chacko and Soumya – originally from Kerala in India, reported the incident to the police.
The youngster also leaves behind a sister.
Qatar’s education department promised to slap ‘the maximum punishment’ possible on those responsible.
It tweeted: ‘The Ministry of Education and Higher Education mourns the death of a kindergarten student at a private school. The Ministry, in cooperation with the respective authorities have started an investigation into the incident.
‘The Ministry, as well as the respective authorities will take the necessary measures as well as the maximum punishment against the aggressors with regards to regulations and according to the results of the ongoing investigation.’
The department continued: ‘The ministry also affirms its keenness to adhere to the highest quality of security and safety standards for its students, and will not tolerate any shortcomings in this regard.
‘It extends its sincerest condolences to the family of the deceased student.’
Local media reported on Monday that a post-mortem examination had not yet taken place – but it is suspected that Minsa suffocated to death.
It has also been reported that three arrests have been made but it is unclear if any charges have been pressed.
High temperatures around 40°C – experienced for the first time ever in the UK this summer – are dangerous to human health.
Qatar has faced widespread criticism over working conditions for people doing building work in hot weather for this year’s World Cup.
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