Boy escapes serious harm after getting thrown off school bus

Top News | 13 Dec 2019

Stella Wong

A nine-year-old boy escaped serious injuries after he was thrown out of a school bus when its emergency door swung open on the road in Tai Koo Shing, according to a viral video.

Police are investigating. No one has been arrested.

The SKH St Peter's Primary School in Western district yesterday said the pupil was not misbehaving or being naughty and that the bus had complied with safety regulations.

The incident - filmed by a dashcam from a car behind the school bus - happened at about 4pm on December 4.

The 67-year-old driver of the 16-seat school bus was turning to King's Road from Tai Koo Shing Road.

The boy fell out of the bus to the ground and narrowly escaped being run over by a car, which stopped immediately.

A water bottle fell out of the student's bag. The boy then got back to his feet without picking up the water bottle and chased after the school bus, which stopped after about 10 meters. A person got off to check the door and helped the boy get back onto the vehicle.

Police said the boy, who suffered abrasions on his hands, was taken to hospital. The case was listed as a traffic accident involving injuries. The Traffic Division of Hong Kong Island Regional Headquarters is investigating.

The division said it will contact different school bus operators and schools to remind drivers, escorts and students of the safety guidelines.

"According to the Road Traffic Ordinance, drivers of public buses and minibuses have the responsibility to adopt all reasonable preventive measures to ensure the safety of passengers. Violators can be fined HK$3,000 and jailed for six months," police said.

A senior teacher at the primary school surnamed Wong said the boy did not violate any regulation or did anything wrong before or after the incident.

"He was not being naughty. We don't want people who watch the video misunderstand and say the student was naughty so it led to such an accident," he said.

"This is purely an accident and no one wanted it to happen."

The school said its officials immediately went to the hospital to check on the boy. "He only suffered minor skin injuries and he was able to go back to school after taking a rest," it said.

Wong said the school bus had complied with safety regulations, including having an escort present, and it was not overloaded.

The escort was quoted as saying that the boy sat next to the emergency door and the handle got hooked onto his school bag.

The school said as the bus involved is an old one, it has no protective cover on the handle of the emergency door. But it added protective covers have now been installed to prevent similar accidents.

Chan Siu-wah, chairman of the Motor Transport Workers General Union, said most school buses must have a protective cover on the handle of the emergency door and all passengers must wear seat belts.

He added that it is quite easy to open the emergency door. "This is to allow quick escapes if there is any danger. The door cannot be locked," he said.

stellast.wong@singtaonewscorp.com

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