Late on Tuesday, the tragic case of a 4-year-old Saudi child who died after being left in a school bus for hours went viral on social media
According to Al Riyadh newspaper, the child was on board a bus transporting other kids to an after-school Quran class in Sabya governorate's Al Dabya city.
"He fell asleep on the bus and didn't exit the vehicle when all the other pupils did," the local newspaper wrote.
None of the students noticed that the boy was left behind, nor did the driver, who parked and locked the bus with the child still in it.
When he came back hours later, the bus driver realized the child was unconscious.
He immediately notified authorities and medics, who transferred the child to Sabya Hospital, however, it was too late for doctors to save his life.
In a statement on the matter, a police spokesman, Nayef Bin Abdel Rahman Al Hakami, said:
"An autopsy revealed that there are no signs of violence on the child's body, and there's no foul play in the case. It appears to be a tragic accident that took place after the boy fell asleep on the bus. An investigation has been launched and the case will now be transferred to prosecution."
People are understandably outraged
Soon after the case started to make the rounds online, thousands were outraged.
Many called on the authorities to impose stricter safety regulations on school buses, especially given the fact that similar tragic cases have previously been reported in the kingdom.
Last month, a video of people rescuing a child who was 'forgotten' in a school bus for four hours went viral on social media.
A year and a half ago, an 8-year-old boy, named Nawaf Al Salmy, died after he was left in a school bus for six hours, according to Al Arabiya.
Many are heartbroken...
"My heart aches."
Others are expressing their anger
"When will this negligence on school buses end? Fear God, people are trusting you with their own children."
Some are calling on authorities to take action
"To the Minister of Education: Pass a strict order that requires a supervisor be available on school buses. We need immediate action because these tragic incidents keep recurring."
A few are blaming the bus driver
"The bus driver must be held accountable for his negligence."
Others prayed for the child's parents
"May God help his mother. There's no strength but in God. I hope that bus drivers have supervisors with them especially when driving elementary school students."
A similar case was recently reported in Abu Dhabi
Police expressed their regret and grief over the incident, warning parents against leaving their children alone in cars, particularly during hot temperatures.
They warned that leaving a child with the air-conditioning running could also lead to devastating results.
A young child could tamper with the vehicle, inadvertently shutting off the air-conditioning or causing other problems if left unattended.
The police said that parents should always take young children with them when leaving a vehicle, even if only for a few minutes.