A four-year-old Indian girl died after being locked in a school bus for several hours in Qatar on Sunday, according to The Indian Express.
Minsa Mariyam Jacob fell asleep on her way to school, and staff did not notice that she was still on the bus, family members told the Express.
Members of staff returned to the bus at around midday and reportedly discovered the girl’s body.
Minsa was rushed to a hospital but could not be resuscitated. She is believed to have suffocated due to the intense heat, which reached 40 degrees Celsius on Sunday.
Expatriates’ associations in the Gulf state have reportedly begun the process of transporting Minsa’s body back to her home state of Kerala in India.
Qatar’s Ministry of Education launched an inquiry into the death of the kindergartener at a private school and is seeking “maximum punishment” for those found responsible.
“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,” the ministry said in a tweet on Sunday.
The ministry also extended its condolences to the parents of the deceased child.
A similar incident was reported in July of 2021 when a 4-year-old child in Ajman, United Arab Emirates, fell asleep and was locked in a school bus.
The child was found four hours later and rushed to a hospital, but passed away soon after arrival, according to the emirate’s police force.