The parents of a four-year-old girl who died onboard a school bus in Qatar have met a top education minister just a day after she was found.
Minister of Education Buthaina Al-Nuaimi on Monday paid her condolences to the parents, Abilash Chacko and Soumya, both of whom are Indian expats living in the Gulf state.
The visit comes just a day after Minsa Maryam was found dead onboard a school bus hours after she was supposed to be dropped off alongside her peers on Sunday.
The girl, who attends a private kindergarten in Al Wakrah, had been transported to the facility as per her usual routine when she fell asleep on the bus – unbeknownst to supervisors onboard.
It is unclear how many supervisors or staff, aside from the driver, were travelling with the students. However, reports say the bus was left parked in an open space during the daytime heat, which reaches above 40 degrees celsius by midday.
The child, who was due to celebrate her birthday on the same day, was reportedly found hours later at 11.30am and transported to hospital for resuscitation. Doctors were unable to save her.
On Sunday, Qatar’s education ministry launched an investigation into her death.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education confirmed the death of a kindergarten student at a private school, noting it has “started an investigation into the incident” along with respective authorities.
“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 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,” authorities added.
News of the tragic death triggered an outpouring of anger online, with many calling for urgent action and accountability.