A young girl has died after she reportedly fell from a water ride at Drayton Manor theme park this afternoon.
The child, 11, apparently plunged off the Splash Canyon ride at the attraction in Tamworth, Staffordshire.
Emergency crews rushed to the scene and the girl was airlifted to hospital.
The ambulance service said it was called to “reports of a patient in the water” at the popular theme park shortly before 2.30pm.
Scroll down for live updates on the incident.
‘Drayton Manor will being doing all they can’
The Health and Safety Executive will investigate the tragedy at Drayton Manor.
A spokesman said earlier: “The HSE has been made aware of today’s incident at Drayton Manor and is making initial inquiries along with emergency services.”
Cllr Philip Atkins, Staffordshire County Council leader, 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.
“Drayton Manor Theme Park was opened as a family business back in 1949 and I know the Bryan family, who are still involved with the park today, will be absolutely devastated by this accident and will undoubtedly do all they can to help find out how this tragic accident occurred.”
School of 11-year-old girl who died releases statement
The girl’s school, Jameah Academy, said in a statement: “Parents/guardians will be aware that pupils and staff of Jameah Academy, based in Leicester, went on a school trip to Drayton Manor Park on Tuesday 9th May 2017.
Hundreds gather for evening prayers after death of young girl breaks hearts in her community
Hundreds gathered for evening prayers at Jame Masjid Mosque to pay tribute to the 11-year-old girl.
A spokesman for Jame Masjid Mosque opposite the girl’s school said: “Her family sent her off to school in the morning expecting to hear about her amazing day at Drayton Manor but the unthinkable happened.”
The young girl’s death has shaken the community and they are all devastated.
“Obviously our thoughts are with the family after this heart breaking news,” the spokesman said.
“When anyone dies it’s a tragedy but when it’s a child as young as she was it’s just awful.”
He said all that can be done now is to pray for her family and hold them in their thoughts.
Woman who had been on Splash Canyon ride moments before tragic accident speaks out
A woman who had been on the Splash Canyon ride moments before the accident has spoken out.
Mum Jenny Mason said: “We were literally the last people off the ride before it happened.
Leicester Muslims Association pay tribute to Jameah Girls’ Academy pupil
The Leicester Muslims Association have paid tribute to the Jameah Girls’ Academy pupil.
Drayton Manor Theme Park will be closed tomorrow
Drayton Manor have Tweeted that the theme park will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday May 10, as a mark of respect to the family.
“My daughter is in the year above the girl who died and is absolutely distraught”
The father of another pupil on the trip said his daughter is in the year above the girl has who died and is “absolutely distraught”.
He said: “The entire school went to Drayton Manor.
“All the girls had been looking forward to it.
“My daughter is in the year above the girl who died and is absolutely distraught.
“She was on another ride at the time and only realised something was wrong when she saw other girls in tears.
“Nobody knows how it happened.”
He added that it is a tragedy and that people want answers.
“Fly high little angel”: Tributes paid after death of 11-year-old schoolgirl
Tributes have continued to be paid for the 11-year-old schoolgirl killed after reportedly falling from a ride at the Drayton Manor theme park:
Phoebe tweeted: “R.I.P to the little girl who passed away at Drayton Manor today. Fly high little angel.”
While Kieran McCalla wrote: “Imagine sending your child on a school trip to Drayton Manor for them to never return home. It’s all mad. RIP to the young girl.”
And Liz Price added: “Regardless of how it happened at draytonmanor a family is without their beautiful baby tonight. RIP little angel.”
11-year-old girl attended Jameah Girls Academy, Leicester
The 11-year-old girl attended a Muslim school in Leicester.
It has been confirmed that she was a pupil at the Jameah Girls Academy, an Islamic day school for girls years three to 11.
Staffordshire County Council leader shocked to hear “how a day of adventure ended in tragedy”
The Staffordshire County Council leader has spoken of his sadness and shock at the tragic death of an 11-year-old today.
Councillor 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.
The park opened to the public in the 1940s and is still operated and owned by the Bryan family.
Footage released of director of Drayton Manor Theme Park speaking at press conference
Here is the footage of George Bryan, director of Drayton Manor Theme Park, speaking at a press conference this evening.
The director of Drayton Manor Theme Park releases a statement
George Bryan, director of Drayton Manor Theme Park, said he was “truly shocked and devastated” by the death of an 11-year-old girl who fell from the Splash Canyon ride.
Speaking at a media briefing at Drayton Manor, he said: “Further to the police statement which has been issued to yourself and your colleagues a few moments ago, it is with great sadness that we have to report that a young girl has passed away at Birmingham Children’s Hospital following an incident at 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 the scene attending to the patient and West Midlands Air Ambulance arrived and airlifted her to hospital.
“We are truly shocked and devastated, and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this tremendously difficult time.”
Tributes paid on social media after the death of an 11-year-old girl
Tributes have been paid on social media after the death of an 11-year-old girl who fell of a ride at Drayton Manor theme park.
One Twitter user wrote: “RIP to the young girl who died today at drayton manor park, such heartbreaking news, my thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
“Our thoughts are with her family and friends” – Staffordshire Police pay tribute
Staffordshire Police have paid tribute after the 11-year-old girl who fell into the water at Drayton Manor was confirmed dead.
Superintendent Carl Ratcliffe, of Staffordshire Police, 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.”
He added the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had been informed 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 it became apparent nothing could be done to save her and she was confirmed deceased.”
Girl, 11, who fell from a water ride at Drayton Manor Theme Park has died
An 11-year-old girl who fell from a water ride at Drayton Manor Theme Park has died, Staffordshire Police have said.
The girl, who is from the Leicester area, fell from the Splash Canyon water ride at Tamworth-based Drayton Manor Theme Park this afternoon.
Mum who was at the park with her daughters speaks of the moment she heard sirens blaring
Mum Fiona Fletcher, 28, from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, was at the park with her two young daughters.
She said she heard “a car come charging through clearing the path and then paramedics flew past”.
“My kids and I had just got off the carousel ride and all we could hear were sirens. It really scared my daughters,” she told.
“The entrance to the Splash Canyon was probably a few hundred yards from where I was standing and there was clearly a huge commotion.
“I saw six fire engines, at least five police cars, four ambulances and two paramedic cars and an air ambulance.
“They put metal barriers up around the whole area so no one could get in.”
She said it was a quiet day and that there were only a few hundred people in the park, and that as staff began ushering people away, many were confused.
When she saw an ambulance charge out of the barriers with sirens blaring she realised she had to leave.
Eyewitness says he saw staff running to the ride and “could hear crying”
An eyewitness has told of how he saw staff running and could hear the sounds of crying.
Graham Johnstone, 40, said: “The first I knew something was wrong when I saw staff running over to the ride and turn people away.
“Minutes later an air ambulance appeared overhead.
“All you could hear was crying coming from the steps leading to the ride entrance. It was awful.
“The emergency services were on the scene so quickly. I saw the air ambulance land but it didn’t take off again. I just hope the kid was ok.”
Police confirm the 11-year-old girl was on a school trip
The 11-year-old girl who fell into the water on the Splash Canyon ride was on a school trip, police have confirmed.
A spokesperson for Staffordshire Police said: “We can confirm the patient was on a school trip.
Eyewitness Matt Mason, 44, said he was on the Splash Canyon just before the person who fell in.
“A teacher must have either been inside the ride or in close proximity but that will be a matter for the HSE to investigate.”
The Health and Safety Executive tweeted: “HSE has been made aware of today’s incident at draytonmanor and making initial inquiries along with emergency services.”
Drayton Manor to issue statement shortly
The media has been informed that the Drayton Manor theme park will issue a statement regarding the incident shortly.
A statement is expected in the next 20 minutes.
Stay with us for the latest updates.
Splash Canyon involves ‘fast-flowing rapids’
The Splash Canyon ride was opened in 1993 and consists of 21 boats holding six people each.
The minimum height for people is 0.9m. Anyone under 1.1m must be accompanied by an adult.
The theme park website says: “Hold on tight and experience Drayton Manor Park’s very own river rapids. Swerve around corners, splash through the waves, and get soaked as your boat is swept along our fast-flowing rapids.
“No two experiences are ever the same, so grab your friends and family, climb on board one of our circular boats, and get ready for a wild ride through the water!
“You’ll feel like you’re in the middle of the jungle as you speed, bounce, and splash your way around our river, past other rides and through the trees, experiencing the most unpredictable and thrilling of river rapid rides. It’s called Splash Canyon for a reason.”
Emergency crews pictured at scene
These pictures show emergency crews at the scene of the disaster.
Police have said an 11-year-old girl reportedly fell off a water ride at the theme park.
It is believed the attraction involved was the Splash Canyon river rapid ride.
The Birmingham Mail reports that the park is still open to people who were already inside.
However, no-one new is being allowed in.
“All you could hear was crying” – visitor
Girl, 11, ‘fell in water’
Police say an 11-year-old girl reportedly fell from a water ride at the theme park.
Superintendent Carl Ratcliffe, of Staffordshire Police, said: “We were called at 2.25pm this afternoon to reports that a child had fallen from a water ride at Drayton Manor Park.
Spt Ratcliffe’s comments follow a woman’s claims that a young boy was the person who fell in the water.
Visitors turned away
The theme park is not closed, contrary to earlier reports.
However, visitors are being turned away from the area around its Shockwave and Splash Canyon rides.
Drayton Manor is a theme park resort and zoo in the grounds of the former Drayton Manor in Staffordshire.
It covers an area of 280 acres and the theme park is visited by 1.5million people each year.
Child ‘fell off ride’
There are unconfirmed reports that an eight-year-old boy fell off a ride into the water.
A woman, who did not want to be named, told the Birmingham Mail: “There has been an incident at Drayton Manor.
“An eight-year-old boy fell off a ride into the water.”
‘Reports of person in water’
West Midlands Ambulance Service has released a statement following the incident.
A spokesman for the service said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service can confirm it was called to reports of a patient in the water at Drayton Manor Park, Tamworth, at 2.18pm this afternoon.
“An ambulance, a senior paramedic officer, a paramedic area support officer, a rapid response paramedic, a community first responder and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Staffordshire were sent to the scene.
“The first resource was on scene within seven minutes.”
Drayton Manor had earlier tweeted the below.
Splash Canyon has been closed following an incident this afternoon. Emergency services & our fully trained park staff are assisting. pic.twitter.com/Fkji90Nwjs
— Drayton Manor (@Draytonmanor) May 9, 2017
Theme park closed
Drayton Manor has been closed following the incident this afternoon.
It is currently unclear exactly what happened.
Emergency services have been pictured at the scene.
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