A four-year-old girl in south China has died after she was left in her father’s car for nine hours in the blistering heat.
The girl’s father was about to drop her off at kindergarten in Yiyang, Hunan province on Monday morning when he stepped out of the vehicle to answer a phone call.
However, the careless parent forgot to let the girl out after the call and got distracted playing on his mobile phone, according to local reports. He then drove the car to a parking lot and left the child inside the locked car, where temperatures soared past 30C.
Four-year-old Qi Qi has died after she was left in her father’s car for nine hours in the blistering heat on Monday in Yiyang, south China‘s Hunan province
The girl’s mother only realised her daughter was missing when she went to fetch her from school and was told the girl never showed up, according to Hunan Broadcasting Station.
The girl, nicknamed Qi Qi, was found unconscious in the back footwell of the SUV at about 5pm and was rushed to hospital, where doctors declared that she had suffocated.
Temperatures in Yiyang on the day temperatures soared past 30C, according to the report, adding that the girl was likely to have been asleep in the back of the car during the ride to Wanyuan Kindergarten in Heshan district.
The father, identified by his surname Hu, said he forgot to check whether his daughter had actually got out of the car before driving off in a hurry and leaving his car in the parking lot of the vehicle dealership where he works.
The girl’s mother only realized her daughter was missing when she went to fetch her from school and was told the girl never showed up, according to Hunan Broadcasting Station
Temperatures in Yiyang on the day temperatures soared past 30C, reports say, adding that the girl was likely to have been asleep in the back of the car during the ride to school
Qi Qi’s body being carried away by police officers. The girl’s mother only realised her daughter was missing when she went to fetch her from school and was told the girl never showed up
He told local media: ‘I answered the call and forgot to check. I didn’t notice until my wife called me at 5pm asking where our daughter was.’
He also questioned why the school didn’t call him or his wife when Qi Qi didn’t show up for class.
‘The school usually calls or sends messages to parents if a student didn’t show up. If they had called, I would have noticed it sooner,’ he said.
Call logs from Hu’s mobile phone showed that he answered a call at 8:46am. After the 12-second call, Hu said he became distracted playing on his phone.
‘There are three teachers and only around 10 pupils per class. How could they have missed that?’ he said.
The Heshan Education Bureau said the school had reached a 32,000 yuan (£3,600) settlement with the family.
Further investigations are ongoing.
The father also questioned why the school (above) didn’t call him or his wife when Qi Qi didn’t show up for class. The school has reached a 32,000 yuan (£3,600) settlement with the family
Children who are stuck in a hot car could face dehydration, heatstroke and death.
In the United States, an average of 37 children die every year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles, according to charity organisation Kids and Cars.
The survey also showed that in more than 55 per cent of the cases the children had been unknowingly left behind. Other instances included children who had accidentally locked themselves in a car and failed to open the door.
Although such figures from China are yet to be released, reports of similar incidents have appeared multiple times this year.
In a similar case last April, a pair of siblings aged four and six were found dead after locking themselves inside the car by accident in Anhui Province. The police believed they died of heatstroke.
In July, two boys in two different provinces of China died in hot cars after being forgotten for hours by their care-takers.
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