‘He was a beautiful boy’: Hero first responder Khaled Arnaout charged towards the scene after hearing a loud bang, screaming and crying
The woman who drove her car into a classroom killing two eight-year-old boys cried out ‘help, I’m sorry’ in the immediate aftermath of the crash, a witness said.
Khaled Arnaout was one of the heroic first responders on the scene of the tragedy at Banksia Road Public School in Greenacre, in Sydney’s west, on Tuesday morning.
In what police believe was an accident, a female driver, 52, crashed her Toyota Kluger 4WD into a demountable classroom where 24 kids were being taught about 10.30am.
Neighbour and tradesman Mr Arnaout charged 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 said.
‘He was a beautiful boy.’
Safe in his arms: A student at Banksia Road Public School is walked home after the tragic accident on Tuesday
Hole in the wall: The Toyota Kluger toppled over the wall of the classroom wall in Greenacre about 10.30am on Tuesday morning
A woman, 52, was behind the wheel of the SUV when it slammed into the classroom. Police are investigating the incident as an accident
The desperate responders picked the boy up, took him to the school office and performed CPR.
After about 10 minutes, police took over and then paramedics. The boys were taken to hospital but tragically were pronounced dead.
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.
The first responder was heartbroken after hearing the two boys died in the police press conference later
Panicked parents stormed up the road to find their children
‘(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.
Primary school student Zeinab Karim (far right) has described the moment a car crashed into her classroom in Sydney’s south-west on Tuesday morning and killed two children
Parents rushed to the school gates to pick up their children this morning
Primary school student witness Zeinab Karim told Daily Mail Australia it felt like her ‘classroom just fell down.’
‘We were in the classroom and when we heard a big bang we stood up,’ the nine-year-old said.
‘There was a black out straight away we were evacuated to Kindergarten.
‘It was really scary cos’ I never would have imagined a class collapse on its own.’
Zeinab said none of her friends were hurt but that her father was so worried his ‘face went bright red.’
Nearby neighbour Riad Kadour said he heard the car ram through the portable building followed by the shrieks of children.
Mr Kadour said he initially thought the incident was a terrorist attack.
‘My daughter was at the school she was distressed, seeing her like that was heart breaking,’ he said.
Photos from the scene show the Toyota Kluger bursting through the walls of the classroom
Pictured is the Toyota Kluger being towed from the school
A total of 22 children are believed to have been injured when the car ploughed through the demountable wall
Parents hug outside the Banksia Road Public School school gates after the fatal crash
Dozens of parents crowded outside the school gate just moments afterwards
NSW Ambulance Chief Superintendent Richard Cohen has confirmed children under the age of nine are involved
Two eight-year-old girls were also rushed to Westmead Children’s Hospital in a stable condition, and one nine-year-old girl is in a serious condition.
There were 17 children and one adult female teacher assessed on scene. Police confirmed 24 children were in the classroom at the time.
A teacher was also treated following the horrific crash.
The female driver of the car, who is uninjured, has been taken to hospital for mandatory blood and urine tests.
Investigators believe the crash was an accident.
‘We’re not looking this as an intentional act,’ Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said.
Panicked parents rushed to the school to check on the welfare of their children shortly after the crash.
A mother whose daughters were in the class said she was horrified to hear the news while she was out of the area.
Worried parents said they initially thought it was an ‘attack or something’
There are eight crews on the scene, including one intensive care car and NSW Ambulance Chaplains
Police from Bankstown LAC on are on scene and a crime scene has been established
Witnesses said the car is owned by a parent at the school, who had been parked in a carpark moments before the vehicle struck the classroom
‘When I first heard I thought there had been attack or something,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I was in Miranda (in Sydney’s south) when I heard and oh my God, I don’t know how I made it here so fast.
‘My daughter’s little friend is in Westmead (hospital) and it’s not good.’
Another mother, whose son was in the building, said he was spared injury because he was at the front of the classroom.
‘He was at the front, so he’s very lucky…but he saw blood coming out of his friends. I’m just in shock,’ the mother said.
Another group of women came out from the school grounds and said: ‘Thank God they’re all right, these ones were next door.
‘I saw it on the news it was scary. My cousin told me. I’m just glad they’re safe.’
The crash happened in the Banksia Road Public School’s demountable building
NSW Ambulance confirmed two of those children suffered a cardiac arrest at the scene
There are eight crews on the scene, including one intensive care car and NSW Ambulance Chaplains.
Police from Bankstown LAC on are on scene and a crime scene has been established.
Police are asking parents who wish to collect their children to do so via the Boronia Road school entrance, but are reportedly not allowing for aunties and uncles to be at the gates.
Buses are diverting away from Banksia Rd and Noble Ave due to the crash.