A kindergarten in the northern Vietnamese province of Bac Ninh has been suspended after a three-year-old child was found locked inside its school bus for hours last week, police said on Monday.
Duong Thi Hop owns and runs the private Do Re Mi Kindergarten in Tien Du District of Bac Ninh while her husband, Nguyen Cong Ty, is in charge of transporting students between their homes and the school using a Ford Transit van they own.
On the morning of September 13, Ty picked up students who had registered for the school bus service and dropped them off at the kindergarten, allegedly forgetting one three-year-old boy who sat at the bottom row, Bac Ninh Police said on Monday.
Ty parked the car under a tree on the sidewalk in front of the kindergarten, left the driver's seat window slightly open with a gap of about ten centimeters, and took off to run some personal errands, according to the police statement.
At around 3:45 pm the same day, Ty returned to the vehicle and found Nguyen Tan L., 3, lying face-up on the floor of the third row from the driver’s seat.
L. is estimated to have been in the locked car for roughly nine hours by the time he was found.
The boy received first treatment at a local clinic and a provincial hospital before being transferred to the Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics in Hanoi.
A source from the Hanoi hospital said the three-year-old boy was hospitalized with symptoms of heat stroke, including high temperature, low blood sugar, and dehydration.
As of Monday, L. had regained consciousness and computed tomography (CT) scan results show that the boy will not suffer from any long-lasting brain damage, doctors at the Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics said the same day.
The administration of Hoai Son Commune in Tien Du District has suspended the kindergarten for investigation.
The incident in Bac Ninh is the second of its kind that happened in Vietnam in under two months.
On August 6, a first grader in Hanoi died after he was also neglected inside a school bus for nine hours. The bus driver and supervisor have been prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter.