England

Theme parks must take action 'to prevent future deaths'

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

Theme parks must take action to prevent future deaths after a girl drowned when she fell from a theme park ride while on a school trip.

Evha Jannath died after falling from the Splash Canyon ride at Drayton Manor in Tamworth, Staffordshire, in 2017.

An inquest jury concluded the 11-year-old from Leicester died accidentally.

South Staffordshire assistant coroner Margaret Jones has now sent a "report to prevent future deaths" to theme parks in England.

In the report, sent to Drayton Manor, Alton Towers, Legoland, Thorpe Park, Merlin Entertainments Limited and Lightwater Valley Theme Park, Mrs Jones raised her concerns following evidence Evha's inquest.

Concerns included the fact warning signs did not spell out the consequences of failing to stay seated in the boats, that staff had not been trained in water rescue and ride operators had no clear understanding of the emergency procedure to be followed if a guest fell into the water.

Following Evha's death, the Health and Safety Executive issued advice on safety at water rides which is applicable to all theme parks.

Mrs Jones said that while the manager of Drayton Manor should respond in detail to the matters raised at the inquest, all other theme park managers should respond in respect of the HSE safety notice.

She adds: "In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe you have the power to take such action."

The Splash Canyon ride has been closed since Evha's death and will not reopen without the approval of the Health and Safety Executive.

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