Theme park to reopen after water ride death

Updated: 

A theme park where an 11-year-old schoolgirl died after falling from a water ride will reopen to the public for the first time this weekend.

Evha Jannath, from Leicester, was fatally injured on Tuesday after falling from a boat on the Splash Canyon ride during a school trip to Drayton Manor Theme Park near Tamworth, Staffordshire.

The youngster's family said they have been "torn apart" by the tragedy and requested that the ride is suspended until the inquiry has concluded and the full facts are established.

A spokesman for Drayton Manor said the park would reopen on Saturday but the Splash canyon ride would remain closed.

The statement read: "The terrible incident on Tuesday has left a family grieving and we continue to offer our deepest thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of Evha Jannath.

"Whilst the HSE and police authority carry on with their important work, we will reopen Drayton Manor Park on Saturday 13th May. We continue to offer support to all those affected, including colleagues, and will provide all necessary assistance to the relevant authorities.

"The Splash Canyon water ride will not be reopened at this time."

The Health and Safety Executive has been carrying out investigations at the site.

Jonathan Hughes, vice-chair of the Staffordshire Branch of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, said the HSE will be talking to staff, contractors and manufacturers of the ride to see how it operated.

"In addition, they will be looking at the history of the ride - its maintenance records, inspections, tests and details of any works carried out on the ride," he said.

Three water rides operated by Merlin Entertainments sites - Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Legoland Windsor - were closed as a precautionary measure in the wake of the incident but reopened on Friday.

An inquest into the death is expected to open next week.

The force said it anticipated that a post-mortem examination will take place on Monday.