Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 September 2019

Sheikh Mohammed visits hero schoolboy and pupils he saved from bus fire

Three boys were passengers on bus when it erupted in flames

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid on Wednesday visited a schoolboy hero and the two pupils he saved from a bus fire in Sharjah.

The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai visited the Emirati pupils at Al Qudwa School in Kalba.

"With our hero Khalifa Al Kaabi, who saved his classmates when their bus caught fire and managed to get them all out minutes before it burst into flames," he wrote on social media, alongside a picture with the boy.

"Khalifa is more than just a boy. He's a man who loves to offer a helping hand, like his president Khalifa bin Zayed."

In a video also circulated on social media, Sheikh Mohammed walks the halls of the school with Khalifa, 12, who is in Grade 7.

He also toured the eastern region of the UAE to see how the start of the school year was going.

Khalifa, 12, was one of the three boys on board the bus when it erupted in flames at 6.30am on Tuesday.

He helped to lead his friends Mohammed, 13, and Mayed, 11, and the driver, to safety.

Speaking to The National on Tuesday, Khalifa said he noticed a strange smell when he entered the bus.

“I joined my friend Mohammed and sat with him on the back seat of the bus but the smell became worse," he said.

"After a 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."

Khalifa pulled his friends off their seats and rushed them out of the bus.

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

The fire happened only 150 metres away from Khalifa's house. He said the explosion rocked the bus, lifting it off the ground.

Sharjah Police said the fire was quickly extinguished and that there had been no casualties.

The Ministry of Education said officials were investigating the cause of the incident "to ensure the safety and security of all the pupils", and the boys were put on another bus to take them to school.

Updated: September 5, 2019 07:46 AM

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