AP NEWS

Driver abducts school bus, sets it ablaze

March 21, 2019

MILAN — A bus driver in northern Italy abducted 51 children and their chaperones Wednesday, threatening them over a 40-minute ordeal before setting the vehicle on fire when he was stopped by a Carabinieri blockade.

Officers broke glass windows in the back of the bus and got all the passengers to safety without serious injury before the flames destroyed the vehicle, authorities said.

As he was apprehended, the driver said he was protesting migrant deaths in the Mediterranean, Commander Luca De Marchis told Sky TG24.

De Marchis told Sky TG24 that the driver, an Italian citizen of Senegalese origin in his 40s, threatened the passengers, telling them that “no one would survive today” as he commandeered the bus carrying two middle-school classes to a nearby gym in Cremona province, some 25 miles from Milan.

ANSA reported that Sy, who became an Italian citizen in 2004, had been convicted in 2007 and 2011 of drunken driving and sexual molestation of a minor. Sky TG24 said that the driver had worked for the bus company for 15 years without any employment-related issues.