MILAN – A bus full of school children was set on fire by its driver in the outskirts of Milan, Italy on Wednesday, March 20, in an apparent protest against migrant drownings in the Mediterranean, Italian authorities said.
According to Reuters, all the children managed to escape unhurt before the bus was engulfed in flames. Police said the driver was an Italian of Senegalese origin.
According to the Italian police spokesman the angry man told the police after his arrest: “Stop the deaths at sea. I will carry out a massacre.”
A video posted on Italian news sites showed the driver ramming the bus into cars on a provincial highway before it was engulfed in flames. Children can be seen running away from the vehicle screaming and shouting “escape”.
Local media reported that one of the children told reporters that the driver had threatened to pour petrol on them and set them alight.
According to the police some children were taken to hospital as a precautionary measure because they had bruises or were in a state of shock, but none suffered serious injuries. The total number of children on the bus during at the time was not given.
The United Nations estimates that some 2,297 migrants drowned or went missing in the Mediterranean in 2018 as they tried to reach Europe hoping to get a better life.