Man hijacks bus, sets it alight

'No one will survive' said man who handcuffed kids

(ANSA) - Milan, March 20 - A 47-year-old bus driver was held by Carabinieri police on Wednesday after allegedly hijacking a bus with schoolchildren aboard and subsequently setting it on fire after handcuffing them in an apparent attempt to kill them, sources said.
    According to an initial reconstruction, the man hijacked the bus with 51 pupils from a middle school in the northern province of Cremona.
    The suspect has been named as Ousseynou Sy, a man with a criminal record who is originally from Senegal but has been an Italian citizen since 2004.
    He said he wanted to kill himself and "stop the deaths in the Mediterranean," the sources said.
    "No one will survive," Sy said after hijacking the vehicle outside San Donato near Milan, according to Carabinieri Provincial Commander Luca De Marchis.
    After being stopped by police, he got off the bus and set it alight, having poured petrol inside.
    But the Carabinieri managed to get the children out by smashing windows at the back, the sources said. Before being stopped, the suspect had also tried to ram through a road block. Twelve children and two adults were taken to hospital after suffering smoke inhalation, as was Sy, the sources said.
    The bus is a write-off.
    A teacher who was with the children said that it was not the first time Sy drove a bus with pupils on board.
    "We knew him" the teacher said, adding that the hijacker was angry about the government's migrant policy.
    "He wanted to get to the runway at (Milan's) Linate (airport)". A girl said "he handcuffed us and threatened us. He said that if we moved he would pour our the petrol and light the fire. He kept saying that people in Africa are dying and the fault is Di Maio and Salvini's. Then the Carabinieri saved us.
    Luigi Di Maio, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement leader, and Matteo Salvini, leader of the anti-migrant Euroskeptic League, are the two partners in Italy's populist government which has closed Italy's ports to migrant rescue NGO ships amid a broader crackdown on migrants.
    Sy will face possible charges of kidnapping, attempted mass murder, causing a fire and resisting arrest, judicial sources said.
   

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