Stoke & Staffordshire

Drayton Manor reopens but water ride remains shut

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

Drayton Manor Theme Park has reopened four days after an 11-year-girl died after falling from a ride.

Evha Jannath, from Leicester, was on a school trip on Tuesday when she fell from a boat on the Splash Canyon ride.

While the park reopened on Saturday, the ride will remain shut along with ones that overlook it as a mark respect to her family, officials said.

The park in Staffordshire had been closed since Wednesday while investigations continued.

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

The rides closed at the park are:

  • Chairlift
  • Air Race
  • G-Force
  • Shockwave

Jonathan Hughes, vice-chair of the Staffordshire Branch of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, said the HSE would be talking to staff, the theme park operator, 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.

'Offer support'

Elsewhere in England, theme park operator Merlin Entertainments confirmed earlier it had reopened the Congo River Rapids at Alton Towers, Legoland Windsor's Vikings River Splash and Thorpe Park's Rumba Rapids, which had all been closed as a precautionary measure following the schoolgirl's death.

An inquest into Evha's death is expected to open next week, after a post-mortem examination which is expected to take place on Monday, Staffordshire Police said.

In a statement, the park said: "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."

Image caption Tributes were left at Drayton Manor Park in memory of Evha Jannath

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