A Queensland toddler left on a daycare bus for nearly seven hours in sweltering heat was the only child picked up that day.
Three-year-old Nevaeh Austin was found unconscious on the bus outside an early learning centre in Gracemere, near Rockhampton, in 28C degree heat yesterday.
Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow said police “will leave no stone unturned” as they “get to the bottom of exactly what happened”.
“It would appear that Nevaeh was the only child on the bus at the time,” he said.
Inspector Shadlow said when the bus returned to the childcare centre after picking Neveah up, it appeared the driver and one other person who was in the vehicle at the time forgot about the child.
Nevaeh remains in a critical but stable condition and is undergoing treatment in Brisbane.
Staff found Nevaeh on the bus about 3pm yesterday and she was taken into the centre, where they performed CPR and Triple Zero was called.
Police from several departments are now investigating the circumstances.
“We have assistance from our crime intelligence command from our child trauma unit in Brisbane,” Inspector Shadlow said.
“We also had photographics and our scientific forensic officers attending the scene, just so we can cover every base.”
Nevaeh’s father Shane told 9News she would undergo a deep brain scan and treatment for potential kidney failure.
He said his daughter was the loudest and most energetic child and at the heart of her daycare centre but remains gravely ill.
He said the family are distraught and searching for answers about how the incident happened.
Police have opened an investigation into the incident and interviewed staff at the centre.
Last year a three-year-old boy was found dead inside a bus outside a childcare centre in Cairns.
The driver involved was sentenced to six-years-in jail over the incident.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was “horrified” and “heartbroken” for Nevaeh’s family.
“For the parents, this is just absolutely heartbreaking,” Mr Morrison told Today.
“I just can’t even imagine the terrible anxiety that they’re feeling at this time.
“To all of those who are taking care of the young child right now in hospital, my thoughts are with them as well.
“I know they will be doing everything they can.
“I look forward to hearing better news, but it’s horrific.”