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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Dubai Police rescues 241 trapped children in 2017

The Search and Rescue Department said the figure was up by 17 from 2016

About 250 children were rescued by Dubai Police after being trapped in cars, lifts or locked rooms last year.

The Search and Rescue Department said the figure was a slight increase from the 224 children saved in 2016.

“Of the 241 children, all of whom were under the age of 12, 122 were rescued after being trapped in their parents’ cars”, said Lt Col Ahmed Burqibah, deputy director of the department.

The country has seen several tragic cases of children dying after being left in hot cars by unsuspecting parents, but none such cases were reported in 2017, he said.

Lt Col Burqibah urged parents not to leave their children unattended in cars, rooms or lifts, even momentarily. “Police have organised several campaigns to raise parents’ awareness about the dangers of leaving children alone in hot vehicles or in locked areas,” he said.

Lt Col Burqibah also called on parents to ensure they were using the correct child seats in cars and for all passengers to wear their seat belts.

Some 110 children — five more than the previous year — were rescued from locked rooms or lifts in 2017.

Lt Col Ali Al Naqbi, head of the maritime rescue operations at Dubai Police, told The National that two children were also rescued from drowning in swimming pools.

“The first incident took place in the beginning of 2017, when we were called to rescue a girl, 5, from drowning in a swimming pool in a building in Deira. The little girl, from Germany, was with her housemaid who left the child alone without any lifeguards,” said Lt Col Al Naqbi.

The other incident involved an Arab child below the age of five who was rescued from the swimming pool at her family’s villa in Al Mizhar.

“We reached the girl's home in few minutes and thankfully we saved the girl’s life,” he said.

On land, almost 22,500 land rescue missions were carried out by police last year, down from 26,250 in 2016, according to Lt Col Burqibah.

Of those incidents, 74 drivers had to be rescued after getting stranded in the desert.

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