Stoke & Staffordshire

Drayton Manor death: Rapids rides closed at theme parks

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

Rapid water rides at theme parks across the country remain closed after a girl fell from one of the attractions.

Evha Jannath, 11, was on a school trip on Tuesday when she fell from a circular boat on Splash Canyon at Drayton Manor.

Alton Towers and Legoland Windsor are among those to have closed similar water-based white knuckle rides.

Drayton Manor said it would remain closed on Friday for health and safety investigations.

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Merlin Entertainments, which runs Legoland and Alton Towers, said it had closed the following rides:

  • Congo River Rapids at Alton Towers
  • Legoland Windsor's Vikings River Splash
  • Thorpe Park's Rumba Rapids

A spokesperson said that on learning of Tuesday's fatal fall at Drayton Manor, Merlin Entertainments shut the rides "with immediate effect" on a "precautionary basis".

It said it expected to reopen the rides on Friday.

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

Some sites, including Lightwater Valley, in North Yorkshire, and West Midland Safari Park, have not closed rides in response to the death at Drayton Manor.

A safari park spokesman said it had, however, introduced a policy whereby all children need to be accompanied by an adult on its water rides.

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Media captionRide death girl was 'sweet-natured'

Evha's family, who released a statement through the campaign office of Leicester politician Keith Vaz on Wednesday evening, called for Splash Canyon to remain out of service until investigations ended.

The family said their "world was torn apart" following Evha's death.

Erfana Bora, the head teacher at Jameah Girls Academy the Islamic day school Evha attended, described the youngster as a "lovely, sweet-natured girl [who] was loved by everyone".

Staffordshire Police said Evha's post-mortem examination was expected to take place on Monday.

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Media captionDrayton Manor: Latest aerial footage shows empty rides

The Splash Canyon ride, which opened in 1993 and features up to 21 boats each with a capacity of six people, promises "a wild ride" with "fast-flowing rapids". Height restrictions are imposed and in some cases children are required to be accompanied by an adult.

The death at Drayton Manor is thought to be the first at a UK theme park since 2004, when a 16-year-old girl fell from the Hydro ride at Oakwood theme park near Tenby, west Wales.

Five people were seriously injured at Alton Towers when the Smiler rollercoaster crashed in 2015.

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