The man believed to be responsible for leaving a three-year-old boy in a hot car on Thursday, causing his death, has been released from police custody without charge.
The 45-year-old Sydney man, confirmed to be the boy's father, is reported to have "forgotten" the boy was in the vehicle when he parked it on Railway Parade in Glenfield, near Campbelltown, before returning to his nearby family home.
Emergency services rushed to the scene at about 3pm after the man raised the alarm when returning to the car. The child was found unresponsive inside the hot vehicle where he'd been "throughout the day", police said, and could not be saved.
Footage from the scene shows the back window of the car had been smashed in an attempt to retrieve the boy. There are conflicting reports as to how this came to be and will form part of an investigation, NSW Police told Yahoo News Australia.
Footage shared by media shows a man sitting on the ground in clear distress over the incident. The vehicle owner was taken to Campbelltown Police Station where he was questioned by police. He was released on Friday morning without charge as investigations continue.
Emergency workers who attended the scene are being offered counselling, according to 7News. A tribute with flowers and candles has since been set up at the scene.
A local told the ABC what happened was an absolute tragedy. "When I had my boy I was quite paranoid about him getting locked-up and I used to double and triple check, so it's unfortunate it's happened," he said. "As a father I feel absolutely devastated, I'm gutted."
Danger of leaving children unattended in cars
On Thursday, parts of Sydney recorded a maximum temperatures above 30 degrees. Campbelltown, near Glenfield, recorded a top of 33.9, according to Bureau of Meteorology data. Child safety advocates Kidsafe claim more than 5,000 children are rescued from hot cars in Australia every year — with a majority of cases being babies and toddlers.
"Leaving children unattended in a car – even for a short period of time – can be fatal," the Kidsafe website reads. "Children are particularly at risk because they can lose fluid quickly, become dehydrated and suffer from heatstroke."
According to road safety organisation NRMA, the temperature inside a hot car can reach almost double the outside temperature.
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