Court upholds closure of Abu Dhabi school over death of pupil

An Abu Dhabi court made a final ruling about Al Worood Academy Private School, where a pupil died after being locked in a schoolbus in 2014.

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ABU DHABI // The school where a girl died after being locked in a bus will be permanently closed, a court has confirmed.

The closure of Al Worood Academy Private School was confirmed by the Abu Dhabi Court of Cassation on Saturday.

Abu Dhabi Education Council decided to close Al Worood after the death of Nizaha Aalaa, 3, an Indian girl who was locked inside a school bus from 7am until noon.

The school filed a lawsuit trying to overrule the authority’s decision, but the court found Al Worood to be negligent in a way that endangered pupils.

The authority said a school’s licence must immediately be suspended if it had been proven to lack safety standards.

It said the school hired a bus company that was not licensed to carry school pupils and recruited a cleaner to supervise, and an unauthorised driver.

The cassation court agreed that the bus lacked basic safety standards for pupils and that the driver was unqualified.

Nizaha fell asleep on her way to school on October 7, 2014. The bus supervisor did not check the back seat, where she was sitting, and the driver did not check before locking it up.

The girl tried to survive by eating her lunch and drinking a bottle of water. There were signs of her banging on the door and sticking her face on the glass to call for help.