Incredible scenes in Italy where a 47-year-old bus driver, understood to be of Senegalese origin, first kidnapped and then torched his own bus with 50 young schoolchildren in it to protest the Italian government’s stricter immigration policies under Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.
It led to a great spectacle and a closure of the Milan highway but luckily no one was hurt.
The driver was on his way back to school with some fifty children after a trip when he suddenly took a different route.
He told the young schoolchildren on board that they were on their way to Linate, an international airport in Milan, and added: “No one will come out alive here.”
At least one student on the bus subsequently succeeded in informing his parents via his smartphone.
Video of children escaping the bus: https://video.repubblica.it/edizione/milano/milano-autista-da-fuoco-a-bus-la-fuga-dei-ragazzini/330009/330610?ref=RHPPLF-BH-I0-C8-P1-S2.4-F4
The parents, in turn, alerted the police, who created roadblocks on the route to the airport.
According to police commissioner Luca De Marchis, the bus was stopped just outside of Milan after a journey of about forty minutes. The moment the bus came to a halt for the first time, some of the children could already escape. The driver tried to flee, but finally drove himself against the guard rail and pulled out a lighter and a bottle of fuel.
While the agents broke open the back door of the bus to evacuate the remaining passengers, he set fire to the vehicle.
The children were able to escape quickly through the back door and got away without serious injuries. Twelve children and two adults were taken to the hospital afterwards, mainly for bumps and scratches. The bus was completely destroyed by the flames.
The driver was arrested immediately after the incident. It would be a 47-year-old from Cremona who had been using the bus for years, according to Sky TG24. A school teacher told news agency Ansa that the man wanted to protest against the Italian immigration policy.
“I want to put an end to it, the dead in the Mediterranean must stop,” the driver shouted when he was arrested.
Picture credit: Screenshot La Republicca