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'No one noticed': How a little boy was left in a hot car to die outside a Sydney shop

Arikh Hasan, 3, died after he was locked in a hot car for hours outside a shop in western Sydney with no one taking action.

As a distraught father tries to come to grips with his little boy dying after being locked in a car for hours, the NRMA has advised passersby what to do if they see a child trapped inside a vehicle.

On Thursday the boy was locked in a car outside shops at Glenfield in western Sydney. He was found at 3pm by his father who it was reported had forgotten he was there. The boy had been there since the morning with no one seeming to notice.

The boy has since been identified as Arikh Hasan, who migrated with his family to Australia from Bangladesh, Daily Mail Australia reported.

A witness, Mujammel Hossain, said the heartbroken father Newaz Hasan had gone to drop off his older son to Glenfield Public School and forgot to then drop off Arikh at daycare, leaving him in the hot car for about six hours.

Arikh Hasan, 3, was found dead in a hot car in Glenfield after his father forgot he was there. Source: Facebook/ ABC
Arikh Hasan, 3, was found dead in a hot car in Glenfield after his father forgot he was there. Source: Facebook/ ABC

"He kept telling me, 'I just forgot, I just forgot'," Mr Hossain told the Daily Mail.

The boy's father is understood to have told police the same information when questioned, Seven News reported.

NRMA advises to break the car window

NRMA's spokesman Peter Khoury told Yahoo News Australia if a bystander sees a child locked in a car they should first see if the child seems distressed.

"If the child is distressed or appears to be distressed, don’t wait, break a window," he said. "Obviously break a window away from where the child is located in the vehicle, pick the window furthest away, break it, open the car, and remove the child from the vehicle."

"If the child is not distressed, call Triple-0 or call the NRMA on 13 11 22, and between the police and ourselves or the ambulance, we’ll get there. NRMA puts those calls at the top of the list regardless of whether or not they're members."

Why are more children and pets being left in cars?

Mr Khoury said the decade-high statistics for how many children are being left in cars are "alarming".

"January this year we rescued 213 children — it was the highest month in five years," he said. "And 2022 was the highest in 10 years considering both children and pets (4267) ."

A photo of the car with police tape around it where a three-year-old boy was found dead.
NRMA has urged bystanders to take action when seeing a child locked in a car, following the death of a three-year-old boy in a hot car in Glenfield. Source: 9 News/ABC

"The overwhelming majority of those cases are accidental where people lock their keys in the car with their child and call us frantically."

When asked why numbers are "on the rise", he mentioned two possible reasons, saying it's something NRMA have been "trying to get (their) heads around".

"Anecdotally one possible element could be Covid, whereby people were just preferring to keep their children or pets in the vehicle rather than take them into the stores," he said.

"Another factor could also be the weather. We didn’t have a particularly hot 2022 and so because of that people thought "well it’s not hot, it's not an issue". Whereas we tell people that regardless of the weather, it's not safe to leave children in vehicles."

Police believe no bystanders saw the child in the car

For the three-year-old boy however, he was stuck in the car in scorching heat, with the temperature inside a hot car believed to reach almost double the outside temperature.

The parked car he was in was left on Railway Parade, Glenfield in a public spot "throughout the day", surrounded by shops. Photos from the scene appear to show the boy's car seat on the righthand side of the car, facing the street, with the footpath on the left side of the vehicle.

Despite being in a public space, police told Yahoo News Australia they believe no pedestrians or drivers passing by noticed the child.

An owner of a nearby shop on the street told Yahoo News Australia she saw the car when "setting up shop" in the morning, however she "just didn't notice anything" out of the ordinary.

Another owner of a store said they only found out about the incident after 3pm when emergency services arrived.

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