A witness has detailed the harrowing moment a distraught dad realised that his three-year-old son had died after being left in a hot car for about six hours – as the little boy’s smiling last photos emerge.
Arikh Hasan, three, was found in the back of a Toyota Corolla on Railway Parade at Glenfield, in Sydney’s southwest, about 3pm on Thursday as temperatures soared to 34c.
The car’s internal temperatures would have reached deadly levels within 20 minutes.
Arikh’s father, Newaz Hasan, had dropped Arikh’s older brother, eight, to Glenfield Public School in the morning, but told eyewitness Mujammel Hossain ‘I just forgot, I just forgot’ to drop his sleeping youngest child to childcare.
Mr Hasan found Arikh’s body in the car about 3pm, while returning to pick up his oldest child from school.
Arikh Hasan, three, tragically died after being left in a car in Glenfield, in Sydney’s southwest, on Thursday
Mr Hossain was on his way to the local school to collect his daughter when he stumbled across the distraught dad.
‘He was screaming and his (oldest) son was crying,’ said Mr Hossain. ‘I told him to call an ambulance but he couldn’t talk on the phone so I spoke to Triple Zero .
‘He took the boy out of the car and took him inside the bottle shop. The father did CPR so many times but there was no response.’
Mr Hossain said he could tell immediately by Arikh’s condition that he had already died. He was extremely hot with ‘no pulse’.
When paramedics arrived to take the little boy to hospital, Mr Hossain said the child’s devastated father told him “he’s not going to be ok”.
Mr Hossain said Mr Hasan later told him he was doing the drop off when he noticed that Arikh was asleep in the back of the car.
He decided to get petrol first before doing the drop off – but forgot, and instead went straight home.
‘He kept telling me: “I just forgot, I just forgot”,’ Mr Hossain said.
Arikh Hasan, three, pictured with his mother Marzia and father Newaz
Witnesses say Mr Hasan was distraught when he discovered his young son
Mr Hasan’s social media accounts are filled with photos of him with his wife and kids
Despite initial reports Mr Hasan had to break the glass to get Arikh out of the car, Mr Hossain insisted the father discovered the boy when he opened the door to let his older son in.
Mr Hossain said the ‘hysterical’ father then banged the glass window in panic.
Daily Mail Australia understands the family migrated to Australia from Bangladesh and both Arikh’s parents work in the banking industry.
Mr Hasan’s Facebook profile is filled with loving photos of him alongside his wife and two young boys.
The pictures show the doting dad holding the boys in his arms or cradling them on his lap as family-of-four enjoyed outings to the beach, parks and events.
The last photo, shared inn early December, shows Mr Hasan smiling as he posed alongside his family in traditional Bangladeshi garments.
Mr Hasan appeared to be bursting with pride as he rested his hand on the top of a chair as the two boys sat nestled in the seat below.
Detectives are investigating the matter. Mr Hasan was taken to Campbelltown Police Station and questioned by police but has since been released without charge.
‘Officers from Campbelltown City Police Area Command were told the child had been in the vehicle throughout the day,’ a NSW Police spokesperson said.
The young child, three, was found in a car outside a grocery store in Glenfield in Sydney’s south-west
Mujammel Hossain (pictured in the pink shirt) was on his way to collect his daughter from school when he saw Mr Hasan screaming
Mr Hasan is seen breaking down at the scene as the child was declared dead
Local Ezzat Hanslo told Daily Mail Australia he was jumping into a taxi on Railway Parade about 9am on Thursday when he saw the father enter a store.
‘He then walked out and stopped a few metres away from the car, then stood and looked out and went back in,’ Mr Hanslo said.
‘I said to the taxi driver “there’s a kid in that car” and I figured he’d go to the car and get the kid and then we drove off.”
Mr Hanslo said he visits the area most mornings and there is not a lot of traffic. ‘By the end of the day it was the only car parked here,’ he said.
‘It’s so sad, I feel sick.’
A visibly upset local said the father is ‘very polite’ and ‘such a nice man’.
‘I don’t know how long he’s lived here, but he is known in the community,’ the man said.
Relatives of the child were spotted breaking down at the scene of the tragic death
NSW Police confirmed the death as it was revealed officers had to smash a window to reach the child
Tributes have been left at the scene as the community mourns the loss of the little boy
‘You don’t think something like this could happen.’
A supermarket worker said the father was a really nice man and what happened was ‘just so sad’.
Footage from the scene shortly after the incident showed Mr Hasan on the ground with his head in his hands.
The boy is understood to have been taken into a nearby bottle shop where members of the public tried to resuscitate him before police arrived.
Bottle shop worker Sandeep Shresdha said there were a ‘lot of people crying’.
‘It was so hot and this concrete out the front was burning hot and people sat here and sobbed,’ Mr Shresdha said.
‘I couldn’t do anything, it’s so overwhelming.
‘I couldn’t sleep last night.’
Temperatures have been high in the Glenfield area recently and hit 34C in the suburb on Thursday
More than 5000 children are rescued from hot cars in Australia every year – the majority being babies and toddlers, according to child safety advocates Kidsafe.
‘Leaving children unattended in a car – even for a short period of time – can be fatal,’ reads information on Kidsafe’s website.
‘Children are particularly at risk because they can lose fluid quickly, become dehydrated and suffer from heatstroke.’
In December 2015, celebrity chef Matt Moran called media to a cooking demonstration at Sydney’s Bondi Beach where he’d prepared a piece of lamb using just the interior heat of a parked car.
‘This has been in there for a little over an hour and a half,’ said Mr Moran, slicing open the meat in a video of the demonstration, ‘that to me is overdone.’
What happens to children left in hot cars?
Children’s bodies heat up three-to-five times faster than adults do
The younger the child, the more vulnerable they are
On a 29C day, temperatures inside a car can reach 44C in just ten minutes
This can cause ‘serious injury’ and brain damage
After 20 minutes, the temperature reaches a fatal 60.2C, which could kill
Winding down the windows or parking in the shade will do little as it doesn’t affect the car’s core temperature
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