Evha Jannath: 11-year-old girl who died at Drayton Manor theme park has been named

Parents say they are ‘devastated that we will not see our beautiful little girl again’

Girl who died in theme park incident 'was loved by everyone'

The 11-year-old girl who died at Drayton Manor Theme Park has been named by police as Evha Jannath from Leicester.

Evha died hours after she fell out of a boat on the Splash Canyon water ride on Tuesday afternoon.

Her family have said they are “devastated that we will not see our beautiful little girl again”.

Staffordshire Police said Evha was recovered from the water and received advanced life support from ambulance crews before she was flown to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where she later died.

She was on a school trip to the Tamworth-based theme park with the Jameah Girls Academy.

11-year-old girl dies after plunging from Drayton Manor Theme Park water ride

In a statement issued through police, the family said: “Yesterday our world was torn apart by the news that our daughter and sister, Evha, had lost her life in tragic circumstances, following a school trip to Drayton Manor Park.

“Evha was 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.

“We ask that you allow us to grieve in private and deal with our loss as a family.”

Drayton Manor will remain shut on Wednesday as a mark of respect, and while investigators from the Health and Safety Executive continue their work.

The school, an integrated Islamic day school for girls, will also remain closed for the day.

According to one parent at the Jameah Academy, the girl 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 the girl disappeared from view after falling from the ride.

The academy’s headteacher Erfana Bora said the school community was “trying to make sense of this terrible tragedy”.

She also said pupils and staff would be offered specialist professional counselling with lessons expected to resume on Thursday.

Reading a prepared statement, Ms Bora said: “Yesterday, one of our children, Evha Jannath, passed away in tragic circumstances.

“She 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.

“Our thoughts and our prayers are with Evha’s family at this most difficult time.

“We will be providing specialist support for our pupils and our staff, and we ask that they be given the time and the space to grieve and to come to terms with our huge loss.”

Police vehicle at Drayton Manor Theme Park responding to the accident

Drayton Manor’s company director George Bryan, whose grandfather opened the park in the 1950s, said they were “truly shocked and devastated” by the death.

He appeared shaken as he read a statement at the park on Tuesday afternoon in which he said specially-trained staff were on the scene “immediately” after the alarm was raised.

The ride, which opened in 1993, and features up to 21 boats each with a capacity of six people, was closed following the accident.

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

Keith Vaz, the Labour candidate for Leicester East where the school is located, said: “We are all shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Evha.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and relatives.”

Evha received advanced life support from ambulance crews before she was flown to Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Zainab Mohammad, whose 16-year-old sister went on the trip, said the tight-knit school community had been left devastated by the tragedy.

Speaking to reporters near the academy, the 26-year-old said: “It’s tragic. We don’t know what the cause is but what we really want is for the family to be able to grieve.

“A family member has been ripped from their family and it’s a big loss. Everybody is in utter shock, there are no words.

“I couldn’t sleep last night, thinking of this.”

Asked how her sister was coping after the death, Ms Mohammed added: “She came home, she spoke to mum and dad and she just went upstairs.

“She was devastated.

“She didn’t want to talk about it. Nobody knows what’s happened, we can’t speculate on what has happened.”

She also urged people not to speculate about the incident on Facebook and other social media.

Ms Zainab said: “The school is not very big, everybody know each other.

“It’s really sad for the kids.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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