Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

Courageous schoolboy leads friends to safety after Sharjah bus blaze

No casualties have been reported following incident on Tuesday morning

Video posted by 'Al Ittihad' newspaper shows flames engulfing the vehicle in Kalba. Courtesy Al Ittihad
Video posted by 'Al Ittihad' newspaper shows flames engulfing the vehicle in Kalba. Courtesy Al Ittihad

A hero schoolboy came to the rescue after fire engulfed a bus in Sharjah.

Quick-thinking Khalifa Al Kaabi, 12, was sitting at the back of the school bus next to fellow pupils Mohammed, 13, and Mayed, 11, when the blaze broke out at about 6.30am on Tuesday.

The bus was parked on a residential street in the coastal town of Kalba when smoke was seen coming from underneath the vehicle.

No casualties were reported.

The youngster swiftly brought his friends to safety before urging the concerned driver to get off the bus.

“I noticed a strange smell when I first entered the bus but I thought it was coming from outside,” said Khalifa, a Grade 7 pupil at Al Qudwa School.

“I joined my friend Mohammed and sat with him on the back seat of the bus but the smell became worse and after few minutes the driver stopped to check the bus and when he tried to turn the engine on again he failed.

“And that’s when the fire started to come out from the back of our seats.

“I immediately pushed my friend to the front of the bus and pulled Mayed out of his seat and then out of the bus.

“The driver panicked and was in shock so I started shouting at him to get out of the bus.”

After escaping the flames, the pupil described how an explosion rocked the bus, lifting it off the ground.

Khalifa Al Kaabi, 12, sniffed out the danger after a fire broke out on his school bus. Picture supplied by family      
Khalifa Al Kaabi, 12, sniffed out the danger after a fire broke out on his school bus. Picture supplied by family      

He then ensured emergency services were directed to the location of the fire.

“It was a scary moment and I told everyone to stay away from the bus. It was very dangerous to stay near it as the fire started to spread everywhere,” he said.

The fire incident took place only 150 metres away from Khalifa's house.

“The police and firefighters came very quickly and the first thing that occurred to my mind is to call my mother and tell her that I’m safe,” said Khalifa.

“Then another bus came and took us to the school where they honoured us for our bravery and congratulated us for being safe and unharmed.

“But I still can’t forget what happened today and I don't think that I would.”

His father said that he was on his way to work when he received the news about the fire.

“Thank God no one was hurt in the fire,” said Abdullah Al Kaabi.

“I’m very proud of Khalifa and how he reacted fast and rescued everyone on the bus, he is a very brave boy,” he said.

The Ministry of Education said officials were investigating the cause of the incident "to ensure the safety and security of all the pupils".

Another vehicle was provided to take pupils to school. Sharjah police said the fire was quickly extinguished.

Updated: September 4, 2019 04:53 AM

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