Drayton Manor remains closed for a second day as girl's death on water ride is probed

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Drayton Manor - Google Maps
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A theme park where an 11-year-old schoolgirl died after falling from a water ride will stay closed for a second day while safety investigators continue their probe.

Evha Jannath, from Leicester, was fatally injured 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.

Bosses at the theme park said it would remain closed on Thursday to allow the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) "to complete their work".

Evah was on a day out with classmates from her Leicester school when she fell into water on the ride on Tuesday afternoon.

She received advanced life support from ambulance crews before being airlifted to Birmingham Children's Hospital, but died later.

Drayton Manor management said the park was closed on Wednesday as a "mark of respect", although it remains closed on Thursday while HSE officials carry out inquiries.

In a statement the attraction said Tuesday's "tragic events" had "shaken the whole Drayton Manor family from the board through to staff and visitors".

"The park will be closed on Thursday to allow the Health and Safety Executive to complete their work," it added.

Splash Canyon, which opened in 1993 and features up to 21 boats each with a capacity of six people, was closed after the incident.

Offering a "a wild ride" with "fast-flowing rapids", riders must be at least 0.9m (3ft) tall, and those under 1.1m must be accompanied by an adult.

Drayton Manor's company director George Bryan, whose grandfather opened the park in 1949, said on Tuesday that specially trained staff were on the scene "immediately" after the alarm was raised.

On Wednesday, Evah's family asked for the "immediate release" of her remains so she could be laid to rest.

A statement, released through the campaign office of Leicester politician Keith Vaz, said: "The family have requested a full inquiry into the circumstances surrounding this tragic death and welcome the actions taken so far by Staffordshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

"The family requests that the ride in question is suspended until the inquiry is concluded and the full facts are established."

The family described their daughter as "a beautiful little girl who was full of love and always smiling".

"Words cannot describe the pain and loss we feel, we are devastated that we will not see our beautiful little girl again," they said.

Jameah Academy, an integrated Islamic day school for girls, was closed on Wednesday.

Classes are expected to resume on Thursday and counselling has been offered to pupils affected by the tragedy.

Head teacher Erfana Bora said the school was "trying to make sense of this terrible tragedy".

Reading a statement on Wednesday, she said: "(Evha) was just a lovely and sweet-natured girl, she was loved by everyone at the school.

"As a school, and as a community, we are trying to make sense of this terrible tragedy."

Suleman Nagdi, from the Federation of Muslim Organisations, said the trip was a regular feature in the school's calendar and there had been "sufficient staff to monitor and marshal the trip".

He confirmed that none of the other children at the fee-paying school had been physically injured.

According to one parent at the academy, Evah fell from one of the boats when it hit a rock.

She told the Mail Online: "When the girl got up to change seats, just then it hit a rock and she got knocked out of the boat and fell in the water and the water currents dragged her in."

The parent, who asked not to be named, said Evah disappeared from view after falling from the ride.