A man in seized a bus full of schoolchildren on Wednesday in Italy and set it on fire. The Italian citizen, with Senegalese roots, threatened 51 school children, two teachers and an assistant near Milan with death before the police could bring everyone to safety. The prosecution is also pursuing a terrorist motive. The 47-year-old man, who has officially worked for the bus company, allegedly refers to the death of migrants in the Mediterranean during the crime. He was arrested.
About a dozen children were taken to the hospital, including the two teachers, all without severe injuries. The investigation into terrorism is being carried out in view of an attempted murder and abduction with the aggravating circumstance, confirmed the Milan counter-terrorism prosecutor Alberto Nobili media outlets. The prosecutors said the perpetrator was a loner. He had no connections to the terrorist organization of the so-called “Islamic State”.
The children suffered scarcely an hour of dread. The man drove the bus off the designated path. A boy told in a video, the culprit had poured jerry cans and asked the teachers to tie the children by their hands. Their cell phones were taken away from them. However, the boy was able to free himself and called the police with his phone that had fallen to the ground, the boy said. The police were able to save everyone in time, because they hit the back windows of the bus, as an eyewitness told on local TV.
Interior Minister and Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini said the man had been convicted of sexual violence and drunk driving. “I want to clarify: Why does a person drive a (with this criminal record) a bus with children?” Man has caused panic, the motive terrorism is also examined, said the head of the right-wing Lega, who since taking office a tight anti-migration course moves.
The perpetrator put the bus on fire, according to media reports, when the police had blocked him in the village of San Donato Milanese. At the time, some children had been on the bus, says an Italian police officer.