Two boys have died after a woman drove her SUV into the side of a classroom in Greenacre, Sydney.
Reports claimed the woman could be heard screaming, ‘Help, I’m sorry!’ as witnesses ran to help at the scene at the Banksia Road Public School.
The two eight-year-old boys were rushed to hospital and announced dead this Tuesday morning.
A woman, Maha Al-Shennag, a 52-year-old mother of four, was allegedly behind the wheel as the SUV crashed into the classroom at 9.45am.
Among the first responders to the scene was Mr Khaled Arnaout who ran towards the school when he heard a loud bang followed by screaming and crying.
Mr Arnaout apparently lifted the vehicle off one of the boys with the assistance of another man.
He told Daily Mail Australia:
I keep seeing the blue eyes staring up at me. He was a beautiful boy.
The two men tried to perform CPR on the two boys at the crash, but they were later pronounced dead in hospital.
A nine-year-old girl is also reportedly in a serious condition, and two eight-year-old girls are in a stable condition.
Seventeen further children were assessed by first responders on the scene, along with a teacher.
Year 4 student Mariam Issmail was in a nearby classroom when the incident occurred.
She told Sky News Australia:
We were just doing work and all of a sudden we heard this big bang. [Students] were screaming, saying they wanted their mum, I want help.
A statement from the New South Wales Minister for Education Rob Stokes echoes the mourning felt by the community:
— NSW DoE (@NSWEducation) November 7, 2017
I cannot begin to comprehend the sadness being felt by the parents and families of the two young boys who have died in today’s tragic accident at Banksia Road Public School. My thoughts and prayers are with their families and the entire school community.
Our first priority is to support students, staff and parents by any means necessary and allow them time to properly grieve. This will not be a quick process and we will work together with the school community to provide whatever assistance we can.
Thank you to the school staff and emergency services personnel for their commitment and fortitude in very difficult circumstances today. I thank them all for their best efforts and quick action as they worked to save lives.
Thank you to Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Secretary of the Department of Education Mark Scott and Member for Lakemba Jihad Dib for visiting the school to support staff and members of the community.
NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith told reporters the driver was taken to hospital for mandatory blood and urine tests.
Apparently, the incident is not being looked at as an intentional act, and is being investigated as a crash.
The woman has been granted conditional bail and is reportedly scheduled to appear at Bankstown Local Court on November 29.
Our thoughts are with the friends and families of those affected in this tragic incident.