(MENAFN - Arab News) An outpouring of emotions and tears a memorial service for six victims of last week's road accident in Jubail brought thousands of grieving parents, government officials and community members together.
The service was organized at Al-Hussan's Jubail International School campus.
The six schoolchildren died instantly when their bus was struck in the rear by a speeding and lane-jumping four-wheeler on Wednesday afternoon.
The victims were buried on Thursday. Their funeral prayers were held in a city mosque. Thousands turned up to express their condolences to and solidarity with the distraught parents.
Among the dead were a Pakistani boy and girl, two Egyptians, a Sudanese and a Jordanian. The school remained closed on Saturday.
Most of the injured children were released from hospitals. However, a Sri Lankan Grade 5 boy is still hospitalized. Though he is in intensive care, his condition is said to be improving gradually.
Attendance in all international schools in the city was thin yesterday with many parents still in a state of extreme shock.
"There was a lump in my throat when I boarded my children on the school bus Saturday morning," said Fahimuddin Aleem, a Pakistani expatriate. "My children are in a different school and life and death are in the hands of Allah, but the dark memories of last week refuse to go away."
Aleem said he attended the condolence meeting on Friday as well as the funeral on Thursday.
"All communities are united in grief," he said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the parents; nobody should go through what they are going."
Community elders have called for meting out exemplary punishment to those violating the Kingdom's traffic rules and regulations.
"There has to be deterrent punishment to stop such carnage on our roads," said Ahmed Maher, an Egyptian expatriate with close ties to one of the injured children. "By merely calling it an accident doesn't help, we need action."