A man took 51 schoolchildren hostage on a bus before dousing it in petrol and setting it on fire.
The terrifying incident happened as the driver was bringing the pupils back from a sporting event in Milan, Italy.
He reportedly told kids he wanted to kill himself in protest of the migration flows in the Mediterranean, the Express reports.
The children, from the Margherita Hack school in San Donato Milanese, were told he was going to take them to Linate Airport.
He reportedly shouted: “No one is going to get out of here alive.”
A quick-thinking youngster on board called his parents, who alerted police and tracked the bus down on a motorway.
The driver spotted the authorities and pulled over before torching the bus with the terrified children still on board.
As the flames engulfed the vehicle, the officers helped rescue the children by smashing the back windows.
None of the children were seriously harmed but 12 of them were taken to hospital for minor burns and smoke inhalation.
The man, originally from Senegal, was immediately arrested by the police at the scene and is under investigation for “massacre and kidnapping”.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said: “A Senegalese with Italian citizenship driving a school bus, with precedents for drunk driving and sexual abuse, hijacked the vehicle and finally set it on fire.
“It happened in the province of Milan. The man was arrested. Now the law enforcement agencies are searching his home.
“I want to understand: why was a person with similar precedents driving a bus to transport children?”