The operator of Drayton Manor theme park will be prosecuted under health and safety law over the death of 11-year-old Evha Jannath, the Health and Safety Executive has said.
Evha died after falling from the Splash Canyon water ride at the Staffordshire attraction in 2017.
The theme park will face a charge under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The 11-year-old had been on a school trip when she plunged from the six seater ride and was swept away at the Staffordshire attraction on May 9, 2017.
Evha Jannath (pictured) had been on a school trip when she plunged from the six seater ride and was swept away at the Staffordshire attraction on May 9, 2017
A HSE statement on Thursday said: ‘A Health and Safety Executive prosecution is being brought following the death of an 11-year-old girl at Drayton Manor theme park. Aerial view of emergency services at the Splash Canyon ride at Drayton Manor theme park, near Tamworth, Staffordshire on May 9 2017
‘The criminal proceedings have not yet commenced, because an inquest into Evha’s death, due to be heard in November, needs to take place first,’ a HSE statement said on Thursday
Drayton Manor was closed out of respect the day after the incident as the Health and Safety Executive investigated what happened
Evha, from Leicester, was airlifted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital after being pulled from the water by theme park staff but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Her heartbroken family said their ‘world has been torn apart’ by the death of their ‘beautiful little girl’, who died just four days after she turned 11.
A post mortem originally revealed she died as a result of catastrophic chest injuries but a forensic pathologist later concluded she had drowned.
A HSE statement on Thursday said: ‘A Health and Safety Executive prosecution is being brought following the death of an 11-year-old girl at Drayton Manor theme park.
‘On 9 May 2017, Evha Jannath died after falling from the park’s Splash Canyon water ride.
‘The criminal proceedings have not yet commenced, because an inquest into Evha’s death, due to be heard in November, needs to take place first.’
Evha, was one of a party of children on a school trip to the park from Jameah Girls Academy in Leicester.
Parents Suable and Nuran Jannath, had recently moved to the area from Hertfordshire.
They released a statement the day after their daughter’s death.
‘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,’ they said in statement.
‘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’.
The last picture of Evha (left) shows her shopping for clothes at the Bullring in Birmingham as a birthday treat in the days before her death (she is also pictured right)
The girl sustained serious injuries after falling into the water from the ride and was airlifted to hospital but sadly died
Evha, was one of a party of children on a school trip to the park from Jameah Girls Academy in Leicester (stock picture of the Splash Canyon Ride at Drayton Manor Theme Park)
The last picture of Evha shows her shopping for clothes at the Bullring in Birmingham as a birthday treat in the days before her death.
Evha’s distraught uncle Abdul Hadi spoke at the time of how the family is bereft and said his niece picked out two shirts and two dresses during a birthday shopping trip to Birmingham on May 2 – exactly a week before her death.
Speaking from Bangladesh he said: ‘She is our Angel. She is the only daughter of my sister and she just turned 11 on the 5th of May. She was a very quiet and pretty girl.’
Abdul explained that the majority of Evha’s family live in Bangladesh and were talking to family in the UK, including Evha’s mother Nuran, via video chat.
He said: ‘It’s a very difficult time for my sister and our family. It’s a critical situation. They live in the UK but the rest of our family live in Bangladesh.
‘My niece last visited Bangladesh in 2009, she loved it and wanted to go back.’
Keith Vaz, the Labour candidate for Leicester East where the young girl’s school was located, said at the time: ‘We are all shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Evha.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and relatives.’
Drayton Park director George Bryan looked visibly shaken as he spoke of the staff’s ‘shock and devastation’ at the girl’s death.
The theme park announced on Twitter it would be close the day after her death as a ‘mark of respect to the family’.
He said: ‘We are all truly shocked and devastated, and our thoughts are with the family and friends at this horrendously difficult time.’
Past UK theme park accidents
May 2019: A seven-year-old boy was taken to Leeds General Infirmary with head injuries following an incident at the Lightwater Valley theme park, near Ripon, North Yorkshire, on May 30.
Witnesses said the boy plunged up to 15ft from the Twister ride at the attraction, with one saying they heard loud screams before seeing a child on the ground.
June 2015: The Smiler rollercoaster disaster at Alton Towers saw 16 people injured and two teenagers needing amputations. Merlin Entertainments was was fined £5million for failures leading to the disaster, which sent one carriage crashing into another with the force of a ’90mph car crash’. Vicky Balch, then 19, and Leah Washington, then 17, each lost a leg in the collision.
Vicky Balch, then 19, and Leah Washington, then 17, each lost a leg in the Smiler crash
One carriage on the Smiler crashed into another with the force of a ’90mph car crash’
July 2011: A number of people on a ride at M&D’s theme park at Strathclyde Country Park, Motherwell, Lanarkshire, were stranded for more than eight hours when it came to a halt 60 feet above the ground.
June 2006: Firefighters rescued eight children and four adults trapped 40ft above the ground on the Terror Rack ride at Pleasure Island in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire. It took the fire crews about an hour and a half to bring the people down to the ground after a safety device kicked in and halted the attraction.
July 2005: Four people were injured when a car came off its track at Ocean Beach amusement park in Rhyl, north Wales, when they were hit by another car. A 32-year-old woman and 30-year-old man were taken to hospital for treatment to chest injuries. Two other people received minor injuries.
April 2004: A 16-year-old girl plummeted to her death from a ride at Oakwood theme park near Tenby in west Wales.
Hayley Liane Williams, of Pontypool, south Wales, died after falling from the Hydro Ride.
Swansea schoolboy Martin Rothwell, aged 10 at the time, was hit in the head and injured by the teenager as she fell past him. Safety changes were later made to the ride.
July 2002: Teenager Salma Saleem plunged 30ft from a Ferris wheel at Gulliver’s World in Warrington, Cheshire.
It was not clear how the 15-year-old, who had Down’s Syndrome, managed to fall from the gondola, but Chester Crown Court – which fined the operators £80,000 – heard that locks on the restraining lap bars had a history of breaking.
June 2001: Durham University student Gemma Savage died when two cars collided on the Treetop Twister ride at the Lightwater Valley theme park, near Ripon, North Yorkshire.
In November 2006, a French firm was found guilty of breaches of health and safety law after the death of the 20-year-old student.
Paris-based Reverchon Industries SA, which manufactured and supplied the ride, was found guilty at Leeds Crown Court of two charges of failing to ensure its safe design and construction, and failing to give information necessary to ensure the ride was safe when open to the public.