STAFFORDSHIRE — An 11-year-old girl on a school trip died after she fell from a water ride at a UK theme park, local police have confirmed.
The incident happened at the Splash Canyon ride at Drayton Manor theme park, north of Birmingham, Staffordshire Police said.
“It is with great sadness we have to report that a young girl has passed away at Birmingham Children’s Hospital following an incident on one of the park’s water rides this afternoon,” George Bryan, company director of Drayton Manor Park, said in a statement.
Bryan added that staff were alerted when the girl fell into the water. “The theme park staff tried to help her and an air ambulance airlifted her to a hospital nearby,” he said.
The girl, a student at the Jameah Academy in Leicester, was on a school visit to the park when the incident occurred. The school released a statement confirming that the year 6 student had died.
“As a school community, we are deeply shocked and our thoughts are with our pupil’s family and friends. The school will ensure specially trained staff are in school to provide our pupils and staff support at this difficult time,” it said. The school’s website describes it as an “independent Islamic school.”
The park would remain closed Wednesday “as a mark of respect to the family,” a statement on the park’s Facebook page said. It did not specify how long the ride in question would be suspended.
The injured student was taken from the water at the scene of the accident and transported to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, but died shortly after arrival, 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,” he said. “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.”
The ride is similar to one in the Dreamworld theme park in Queensland, Australia, on which four people died in October of last year.
In that incident, four adults and two children were riding on the “flume” type ride, called the Thunder River Rapids Ride, when the malfunction occurred. The two children survived but the four adults died when their carriage flipped after it came in contact with another towards the end of the ride.
The collision caused some of the passengers to fall onto the conveyor belt, where they were caught in the machinery, a Queensland Police Service spokesman said at the time.