Investigation launched after child forgotten on bus for hours
The bus driver and the bus attendant were detained on charges of “reckless injury” on Jan. 23. But following an interrogation by prosecutors, they were released, local media reported.
The four-year-old boy was left on the school bus on Jan. 16 for five hours in Turkey’s northern province of Samsun’s Atakum district. The boy was put in the bus by his mother before it set off to the kindergarten at around 12:30 p.m.
The bus had dropped off all the children to the school except the child. He was left on the bus for two hours on his own. The bus driver then headed off to other schools to pick up children. The child, still unnoticed, was in the bus when the driver picked up other children. The bus driver and attendant realized the child was on the bus at 6 p.m.
While locked inside the bus, the boy got cold and wet his underpants, his mother later told the officials as she filed a criminal complaint regarding the incident.
“I want necessary procedures to be carried out for those who are responsible,” said the mother.
“We are after this no matter what happens. The fact that the child is healthy now does not change the result. It is the kid’s life that’s at stake here. Everybody who was careless must be brought to account,” said the preschooler’s grandmother.
Immediately after the incident, the child’s family filed a complaint against the bus driver, the bus attendant as well as his teacher who they said “failed to notify” the parents about the child’s absence in the classroom.
“Even though the teacher claims she is not responsible, she was careless too. She needed to inform us about the child’s absence. If she did, maybe he would not have stayed in the bus for that long,” the grandmother added.
Meanwhile, the Education Ministry has said its officials have also launched an administrative investigation into the incident.