Boy, 5, falls to death from hotel after escaping Afghanistan

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Boy, 5, falls to death from hotel after escaping Afghanistan

A 5-year-old Afghan boy fell to his death from the ninth-floor window of a hotel in the UK, where he and his family recently arrived after being evacuated from their war-torn country, according to reports.

Mohammed Munib Majeedi, whose dad had worked at the British embassy in Kabul, plunged about 70 feet to his death Wednesday at the OYO Sheffield Metropolitan hotel, the Mirror reported.

His horrified mother, Shekiba, yelled, “My boy!” and “Save my son, please!” after the tragic incident.

The tragic child apparently slipped out the window — which was only supposed to be able to open about 2 inches — at about 2:30 p.m. according to the outlet.

Mohammed and his parents, who arrived in Britain in recent weeks, were among a group of Afghan refugees who were housed at the hotel after spending time in quarantine, the Guardian reported.

Jawed Jamal Akhtar, 35, an Afghan interpreter who also was staying at the hotel with his wife and six kids, told the Mirror that he went to the hospital with the boy and his mother, “but you could see Mohammed was dead.”

He said the dead boy’s dad, Omar, arrived crying at the hospital.

“The last time I saw the mother she was not good,” Akhtar said.

“After the boy fell his mother was shouting, ‘Save my son, please!’” he added. “Just the day before, Mohammed was playing with my children at the front of the hotel — they were playing cops and robbers.”

Afghans continue to wait near the Kabul International Airport as they try to flee the Afghanistan, on August 20, 2021
Afghans continue to wait near the Kabul International Airport as they try to flee the Afghanistan, on August 20, 2021
Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Akhtar said he has checked that the windows in his room only open a couple of inches.

“Last night my children would not go to bed, they were really scared,” he said.

Hotel guests have previously pointed out that the windows were dangerous, according to the Express.

In a 2019 complaint posted on the hotel’s Facebook page, a guest shared chilling images showing how wide the windows could be extended — and said there was “no safety whatsoever,” according to the news outlet.

“It is not child friendly, has huge health and safety issues,” the mother reportedly wrote.
“I could not open the window as it opened so wide I was scared my children would fall out.”

A friend and former colleague of Mohammed’s father said he recently said goodbye to the boy.

“When I was at the airport saying goodbye to Majeedi, I just hugged his small kid. I remember he was doing childish acts,” the unidentified pal told the Express. “I can’t understand how this happened. I am shocked.”

The Home Office had been informed about safety concerns at the budged hotel, according to the Guardian, which reported that it was used briefly last year as temporary accommodation for asylum seekers before several families from Afghanistan were housed there.

Recent online reviews of the hotel described it as “absolutely disgusting,” “grimy” and “dirty,” according to the outlet.

“We are extremely saddened by the tragic death of a child at a hotel in Sheffield. The police are providing support to the family while the investigation continues and we cannot comment further at this time,” a Home Office spokesperson told the Guardian.

South Yorkshire police said in a statement that liaison officers are assisting the grieving family.

“We would ask that their privacy is respected at this time. Officers are appealing for anyone with information relating to the incident to come forward,” the statement said.

Dan Jarvis, the mayor of the Sheffield city region, said he was “desperately saddened at the appalling news,” according to the Guardian.

Turkish soldiers helps people waiting for evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 18, 2021.
Turkish soldiers helps people waiting for evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 18, 2021.
Aykut Karadag/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

“My thoughts and deepest condolences are with his family, who will be experiencing an unimaginable pain at present,” added Jarvis, who has served for the British army in Afghanistan.

Refugee Council chief Enver Solomon said: “This a terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with the family who have gone through so much trauma and suffering to reach the UK.”

Enver called on the “Home Office carry out an urgent investigation into what has happened so steps can be taken to quickly learn lessons,” adding that families from Afghanistan “are vulnerable and often very traumatized.

“There should always be safeguarding assessments carried out so steps are taken to ensure nobody, especially children, is put at risk,” he added.

OYO Rooms, which owns the Metropolitan hotel, did not immediately respond to the Guardian’s request for comment.

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