The father of one of the pupils who lost their lives after suffocating on a bus conveying them home from school in Lagos, has spoken on how he got the sad news.
On Friday, two pupils of a mission school, Handmaids Int’l Catholic School, Surulere, Lagos, lost their lives while on their way home.
Commenting on the incident, Mr. Izuorah Chidi, said he suspected something went wrong when he got a call that his children had not returned from school by 3pm on Friday. Chidi, who is a trader on Lagos Island, said his children usually return from school around 1pm on Fridays.
“Normally, they close by 1pm on Friday. I called the driver who is fondly called Uncle Mandela by the kids; he said the vehicle broke down but that I shouldn’t worry as he was already fixing the problem.”
“When I got home at about 5pm, my kids were still not back, so I called the driver again and he told me they were at Al-Amin. I drove down to the place with my wife but when I got there, I didn’t see the school bus or the children. I called the driver, who now told me to come to Randle hospital.
“I rushed down to the hospital, when I got there, I saw my 11-year-old daughter placed on oxygen and drip. I didn’t see my 8-year-old son. When I asked after him, I was told he was in the other children ward, I got there, I didn’t still see him. I asked the doctor where my son was and he told me that my son and a girl who was also in the bus were dead on arrival while other kids in the bus were revived with oxygen.
“The driver told me that he had flat tyre and then he wound up the glasses, locked the door while he went to look for a vulcanizer. The children were already weak before he came back, while some who still had strength complained to him that he should open the windows because they needed fresh air, but he ignored them.
“My daughter told me that she watched her younger brother suffocate and she called on the driver to open the windows because her brother was dying, but he didn’t listen to her until he got to the destination of one of the pupils before he realised that something had happened to the kids.
Then, they were rushed to the hospital.” He said the remains of his son had been deposited at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).
Though he said the school management had visited him, the bereaved father vowed to seek redress, disclosing his plan to transfer the case from Aguda Police Station to Panti for “proper action”.