An Emirati 12-year-old student bravely saved his classmates after a fire engulfed their school bus earlier this week. Khalifa Al Kaabi, a 7th grader in Sharjah's Kalba city, was visited and honored by Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum after his heroic act.
The young man rescued several of his classmates by pushing them out of the burning bus after it caught fire early Tuesday morning. When Al Kaabi entered the bus, he alerted the driver that he saw smoke coming from under the vehicle. The man did a quick check and couldn't see anything unusual, so he resumed the trip. Just a few seconds later, a fire erupted on the bus.
The boy then sprung into action, pushing the students - three boys - off the bus before the entire vehicle burst into flames. He also managed to call local police and fire departments using the driver's phone. Luckily, everyone on board the bus managed to get away unscathed.
The Dubai ruler was on a visit to schools in the Eastern region of Sharjah, according to Gulf News, "to follow up on the start of the school year."
"I made sure to visit the hero student Khalifa Abdullah Al Kaabi. He is the pride of his generation and his courage reflects our inherent values. We thank him for saving his classmates when their school bus caught fire," Sheikh Mohammed said.
In footage capturing the leader's visit to Al Kaabi's school, he can be seen embracing the child and conversing with him. He also toured the campus and met with a few other students.
Al Maktoum hailed Al Kaabi both online and offline as a hero for saving his classmates.
In a tweet posted on Wednesday, the Dubai royal shared a picture of himself and the schoolboy, writing:
"With our hero Khalifa Al Kaabi, who saved his classmates when their bus caught fire and managed to get them all out minutes before it burst into flames. Khalifa is more than just a boy. He's a man who loves to offer a helping hand like his president Khalifa Bin Zayed."
Al Kaabi was also honored by Sharjah Police who visited him at his school on Wednesday morning.