Leicester

Drayton Manor death: Evha Jannath, 11, received 'no help'

Evha Jannath Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Evha Jannath fell out of a circular boat on the Splash Canyon attraction

An 11-year-old girl who died after falling from a theme park water ride received "no help and was eventually sucked under the water", MPs heard.

Evha Jannath, from Leicester, fell from the Splash Canyon ride on a school trip to Drayton Manor theme park in May.

Her family said they wanted to know the truth about how it happened to prevent another tragedy.

Leading a Commons debate on theme park safety, Leicester East Labour MP Keith Vaz said changes needed to be made.

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Image copyright ThemeParks.ie
Image caption Splash Canyon opened in 1993 and features up to 21 boats

He said Evha's family were "concerned at potential negligence" leading to her death.

'Heroic' family

Eyewitnesses said Evha, who went to Jameah Girls Academy, tried to move towards the boat after falling into the water but received "no help" despite her friends calling for assistance, the Commons heard.

Mr Vaz said Evha's family remain "shocked and in mourning".

"To lose a child is horrific and yet to use that loss in a way that means there will be positive change... for others is, in my view, nothing short of heroic," he said.

"Having spoken to Evha's father Muhammed Islam, I know he is set on ensuring that no other families are hit by a tragic event like this again."

Mr Vaz also suggested changes to improve theme park safety, including children under 12 being "accompanied by an adult at all times" on such rides and said it should be a "priority" to have them "adequately staffed".

Image copyright Tom Goodwin
Image caption Emergency services rushed to the park after Evha fell in the water

He said a change in the law was necessary to lift the "woefully low" £15,000 cap on bereavement damages for a child's death.

Work and pensions minister Penny Mordaunt said the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) would ensure lessons were learnt and acted on by the industry from the "tragic" event.

Drayton Manor's procedures for responding to emergencies would be examined and the Splash Canyon ride would remain closed while the investigation took place, she added.

An inquest into Evha's death has been adjourned until November.

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