After being left in a car for nine hours in severe heat, a four-year-old in China died. The incident took place Monday, when the girl, nicknamed Qi Qi, was traveling with her father to attend kindergarten in Yiyang, Hunan province.

Although she should have been dropped off at the Wanyuan Kindergarten, she never turned up for her classes. Qi Qi’s father forgot to let her out of the car once they reached the destination and instead, became busy playing a game on his mobile phone. Later, without realizing that the toddler was still in the back seat of the car, he parked the vehicle at a parking lot and left with the child locked inside.

When the girl’s mother went to fetch her from the kindergarten, she realized her child was missing. She was eventually discovered by the authorities in the back footwell of the SUV and was rushed to a hospital. Her face was purple and she had no vital signs. Doctors declared her dead from suffocation after being left in the car while temperatures outside reached over 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

The police said Qi Qi might have fallen asleep on her way to the kindergarten, which might be the reason her father failed to notice her in the car.

The father of the child admitted that he had indeed forgotten about checking whether his daughter had gotten out of the car because he hurriedly drove off to the vehicle dealership where he works and left the car in the parking lot. According to the father’s call logs analyzed by the police, he received a call at 8:46 a.m., which lasted for 12 seconds. After that, he reportedly became distracted with the game on his mobile.

Toddler In this representational photo, a mother sits next to her three-year-old daughter on a park bench as the girl drinks orange juice in Berlin, Germany, Sept. 16, 2012. Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images

The man said he partially held the kindergarten responsible for the toddler’s death as they failed to inform parents that Qi Qi did not show up for classes.

“The school usually calls or sends messages to parents if a student didn't show up,” he said, South China Morning Post reported. “If they had called, I would have noticed it sooner. Three teachers look after fewer than 20 children [in each class], and they didn’t know one of them didn’t come to school?" The kindergarten was a considerably high-end one in Yiyang, charging nearly 10,000 yuan [$1,490] a semester.

The Heshan Education Bureau said the school had reached a 32,000 yuan ($4,769) settlement with the family, as further investigations continue.

According to a report, titled “Kids in Hot Cars; a Legislative Look Across the U.S,” released by National Safety Council – a nonprofit advocacy group – in June, 37 children die on an average every year, after being left in hot cars. “This report should serve as a wake-up call to look before we lock,” Amy Artuso, senior program manager of advocacy at the council, said in a statement. “We need better laws, education and enforcement if we are going to end these preventable deaths.”