Ministry of Education initiates action against school bus owner

Muscat: The Ministry of Education has initiated an action on the incident that led to the death of a student in a school bus in Ruwi, a statement released on Saturday said.

The ministry said that it has terminated the contract of the bus company and notified the public prosecution of the incident, including the contract signed with the bus owner, driver’s responsibility towards the safety of the students in the bus in the context of the circulars issued by the authorities on this matter.

The driver has to make sure that the vehicle is free of any students on arrival at the destination and should keep the windows partly open. He should also ensure that the road is clear of the students to avoid any such incidents in the future.

The Ministry of Education said the owners of school buses should convey to their drivers the importance of safety measures adopted for the safety of students.

Background.

A student died of suffocation and exhaustion after he was left alone locked in a school bus in sweltering heat for more than two hours in Ruwi on Thursday. The eight-year-old Sudanese boy was rushed to the hospital but could not be saved, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) said.
ROP has urged school bus drivers to ensure that students are not left behind to avoid similar tragedies.
Death due to suffocation or lack of oxygen inside a bus or car happens mostly during the summer months. To avoid such tragedies, parents or guardians must make sure that all the passengers — especially toddlers — are out of the vehicle before locking it.
Most children are left unattended to in school buses either when they fall asleep or drivers forget to drop them at home.
Many citizens and people who tweeted on the tragedy demanded harsher penalties for the school bus driver and officials, to stop a repeat of such incidents.
This is not the first case where a child left unattended to in a school bus died in the country.
In 2016, a four-year-old Omani boy died after he was left alone in a locked bus for more than five hours in Mabela.
In September, 2015, a four-year-old girl, who was allegedly left unattended to in a school bus, died of suffocation in Bidbid province.
In 2014, two children died after being locked in kindergarten bus in Darsait.
Mwasalat, the Oman National Transport Company, tweeted that the bus did not belong to its fleet.