Drayton Manor theme park death: Girl dies after falling from Splash Canyon water ride

Child was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at Birmingham Children's Hospital

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The Independent Online

An 11-year-old girl has died just hours after she fell from the Splash Canyon water ride at Drayton Manor theme park.

The unnamed child had been airlifted to hospital following the incident at at around 2:18pm on Tuesday afternoon after she fell into the water. 

Emergency services, including police, paramedics and an air ambulance, were called immediately and arrived within seven minutes.  

The girl, who is from the Leicester area, had been taken to Birmingham Children's Hospital but she was confirmed dead shortly after arrival.

Girl dies after incident at Drayton Manor

She was a Year 6 pupil at Jameah Academy - an integrated Islamic day school for girls in the city.

The girl is believed to have been on a school trip at the time of the incident. 

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: "On arrival, crews discovered a girl with serious injuries who had been rescued from the water by park staff.

“Ambulance staff administered advanced life support before she was flown to Birmingham Children's Hospital with the doctor continuing treatment en-route.

“Unfortunately, shortly after arrival at hospital the girl passed away.”

Police superintendent Carl Ratcliffe said: “Specially-trained officers are supporting the girl's family at this difficult time. Our thoughts are very much with her family and friends following this tragic incident.”

The ride was closed following the incident.

One witness to the incident, Fiona Fletcher, told BBC News she had seen park staff with “tears running down their faces” and overheard them telling each other not to “tell anyone yet” as they hurried people out of the area.

“I didn't hear anything [official] until I got into my car because my girls were getting upset so we left”, she added.

Reading a statement to the media at the park, a visibly shaken company director, George Bryan said: "Further to a police statement which has been issued a few moments ago, it is with great sadness we have to report a young girl has passed away at Birmingham Children's Hospital following an incident on one of our rides this afternoon.

“Our staff were alerted that an 11-year-old girl had entered the water.

“Trained park staff were immediately on scene tending to the patient and West Midlands Ambulance arrived and airlifted her to hospital.

“We are all truly shocked and devastated, and our thoughts are with the family and friends at this horrendously difficult time.”

Staffordshire County Council leader, Philip Atkins, said: “It is absolutely sad and shocking news to hear how a day of adventure has ended in such tragedy for this young girl, and our thoughts are very much with her family and friends this evening.”

He said Drayton Manor, which is owned and run by the Bryan family, was opened as a family business and they will be “absolutely devastated by this accident and will undoubtedly do all they can to help find out how this tragic accident occurred”.

The Health and Safety Executive said it had been made aware of the incident and is making initial enquiries.

Additional reporting by PA