Bus company Strætó have issued an apology after a young girl with was left locked inside a transport van for 7 hours yesterday, reports RÚV.
The girl, Ólöf Þorbjörg Pétursdóttir, was being transported from her school to Hitt Húsið along with 7 others in a 16-person van designated for people with disabilities.
Vísir reports that the driver – who works alone – was forced to split the group into two because the elevators at Hitt Húsið only accommodate 4 wheelchairs in one go, leaving the rest of the youths outside with the van.
As the first group went down, Ólöf returned to the van to sit. According to police Ólöf has trouble verbally communicating and it seems she went unnoticed when the driver returned to help the second group into the elevator. Eventually the driver – thinking everyone was now safely inside – left Hitt Húsið, headed home and locked up the van.
When Ólöf failed to turn up at home later in the evening a search was mounted to find her. A call was made to the driver who found Ólöf in the last row of the van parked outside his home roughly 7 hours after she was meant to be dropped off at Hitt Húsið.
“Today a truly horrible event took place and a girl was left behind in a van belonging to [Strætó],” reads a statement from the company. “We deeply regret this event more than words can express and would like to extend out apologies to the girl in question and her family. We are investigating the issue and promise to get to the bottom of it.”