‘I want my mum’: Heartbreaking last words of one of two boys, 8, killed in Sydney school crash tragedy… amid fears child survivors were exposed to ASBESTOS in the wrecked classroom.
The tragic car crash at a western Sydney primary school that claimed the lives of two young boys could now prove to be a major health hazard for the other students after deadly asbestos was found in the smashed classroom.
There are renewed fears for the 22 other students in the class, as well as teachers, parents and first responders after officials identified the presence of the poisonous material.
A spokesman for New South Wales Education confirmed they had found ‘asbestos-containing materials have been identified inside the building’ at Banksia Road Public School that was knocked down by an out-of-control car.
Maha Al-Shennag, a 52-year-old mother of four, was behind the wheel of the Toyota Kluger which slammed into a demountable classroom where 24 kids were drawing at about 9.45am on Tuesday.
Two eight-year-old boys were found by first responders among the blood and chaos, and were rushed to Westmead Children’s Hospital. Both passed away due to cardiac arrest.
Khaled Arnaout, one of the heroic first responders, revealed one of the young victim’s last words was asking for his mother.
‘He kept asking where his mum was,’ Mr Arnaout said.
‘I said, ‘your mum will come for you shortly’.’
Emergency services have been working at the scene to investigate the cause for the crash and determine the extent of the presence of asbestos.
‘The removal of any asbestos that may have been disturbed in the damaged building will be managed in compliance with SafeWork NSW requirements,’ the spokesman said.
‘The Department’s first priority is to the students and staff of Banksia Road Public School, and we are currently focused on supporting them.’
Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Asbestos & Health: Frequently Asked Questions
NSW Police charged the 52-year-old with two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and suspended her licence on Tuesday night.
They have reportedly ruled out any suggestion the woman was suffering from a medical episode and instead will allege she was distracted by something in her car that led to the incident.
She will face Bankstown Local Court on Wednesday.
Parents, students and members of the wider community have come together to mourn the two young victims of the tragic car crash.
People gathered outside the school on Tuesday evening, laying flowers and remembering the young lives that were lost.
A large notice was posted, handwritten by students from the year above the 3T class that saw their room collapsed by the out-of-control vehicle.
‘Rest in Peace…You will never be forgotten,’ the sign reads.
Hundreds have gathered outside the school in an outpouring of grief and emotion.
Adults and children have had to be comforted by others attending the vigil with many breaking down in tears at the sight of the destroyed classroom.
Among those attending the vigil was Lakemba MP Jihad Dib, who spoke and held a moment’s silence at the memorial.
‘Please keep these two little boys and their family in your prayers and God willing a speedy recovery to those in hospital,’ he said.
‘Make sure you tell your parents you love them.’
Neighbour and tradesman Mr Arnaout revealed he bolted towards the school after hearing a loud ‘bang’ and found a tragic scene of blood and chaos.
With the help of at least one other man, he lifted the 4WD off one of the boys.
The child was unconscious, but his eyes were open.
‘(I) keep seeing the blue eyes staring up at me,’ a heartbroken Mr Arnaout told Daily Mail Australia. ‘He was a beautiful boy.’
The other boy who later died had a big gash to his head. But when Mr Arnaout was present, he was conscious and kept asking for his mother.
‘He kept asking where his mum was and that hurt,’ he said.
‘I said, ‘your mum will come for you shortly’.’
After the accident, he saw the driver was in the back seat of the car yelling out ‘help, I’m sorry’.
A tradesman, Mr Arnaout had popped home to get something when he heard a loud ‘bang’.
He didn’t think much of it until he heard screaming and crying as well.
His first thought was his daughter who attended the school. The short run to the scene of the crash felt like a ‘marathon’, he said.
‘(I) run over there, see the whole wall and debris everywhere and blood.’
‘Another guy (stood) next to the car, instinct got us, we lifted the car.
‘We saw the kid looking at us from under the car.’
He later found out the boys had died from the police press conference.
‘I broke down and thought I could have done more.’
He believes it could have helped to have had a defibrillator in the classroom.
Source: Daily Mail Online