NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21 – A six-year old pupil at St Augustine Primary School in Mombasa has died after he was crushed to death when he fell through an opening on the floor of the bus he was riding in to school.
According to witnesses, the boy was trying to retrieve his water bottle which fell through a hole in the bus that had gathered rust caving in under him.
A parent at the St Augustine’s School who spoke to Capital FM News soon after the accident said: “My child is safe but this does not mean that I have not been affected. Another parent’s child is also my child. So this incident has affected me, I am shocked and hurt,” he said.
“It is important that the safety of our children is made a priority and the Education Ministry should come up with suitable guidelines to increase their safety.”
The parent described the accident as a result of negligence and urged the Education Ministry to take action against the school for carelessness.
“I am blaming the management of the St Augustine’s Preparatory School because that is total negligence. How can the bus have a hole on its floor?” he asked.
“Even repairing the hole is quite cheap and we are calling on the Education Ministry to ensure that disciplinary action is taken against the school.”
Last month, Members of Parliament passed the Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2016 which requires all school buses to be painted yellow with institution names written in black and have other signage as may be prescribed, in a wide range of changes aimed at enhancing safety.
According to the Bill, a motor vehicle designated to transport children to or from school, or for any non-school related activity, when they are in a group, shall be fitted with safety belts designed to be used by children.
The speed limit of all vehicles approaching learning institutions has been fixed at 50km per hour.
School buses will be barred from operating between 10pm and 5am.