MILAN, March 20 (Reuters) - A bus full of school children was set on fire by its driver in the outskirts of Milan on Wednesday in an apparent protest against migrant drownings in the Mediterranean, Italian authorities said.
All the children managed to escape unhurt before the bus was engulfed in flames. Police said the driver was an Italian of Senegalese origin.
“He shouted ‘Stop the deaths at sea, I’ll carry out a massacre’,” spokesman Marco Palmieri quoted the driver as telling police after his arrest.
A video posted on Italian news sites showed the driver ramming the bus into cars on a provincial highway before the fire took hold. Children can be seen running away from the vehicle screaming and shouting “escape”.
The driver, Ousseynou Sy, a 47-year-old Senegalese-born Italian with a criminal record, reportedly shouted "Stop the deaths at sea, I’ll carry out a massacre" according to police spokesman Marco Palmieri.
All of the children were able to escape before the bus was completely engulfed in flames. One child told reporters that the man had threatened to pour gas on them and set them ablaze.