Drayton Manor theme park operators fined £1 million after girl, 11, died on Splash Canyon ride

Drayton Manor theme park operators fined £1 million after girl, 11, died on Splash Canyon ride

March 18, 2021

THE operators of Drayton Manor theme park have today been fined £1million after an 11-year-old girl was killed on a water rapids ride.

Evha Jannath tragically died when she fell from the Splash Canyon river rapids ride during a trip with schoolfriends in 2017.

And the theme park was today fined for safety failing that led to the schoolgirl's death.

Lawyers for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), bringing a prosecution against the park for not properly ensuring the safety of its guests, said the theme park's operators oversaw "systemic failures of safety" on the river rapids ride.

Evha was "propelled" from a vessel on the Splash Canyon ride at Drayton Manor in Staffordshire during an end-of-year school trip with friends from Jameah Girls Academy in Leicester on May 9 2017.

Drayton Manor had admitted breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Sentencing Drayton Manor Theme Parks Ltd at Stafford Crown Court on Thursday, Mr Justice Spencer said: "This was an utterly tragic waste of a young life."

And he added that no sentence could "reflect the tragedy of this case for Evha's family".

He said the little girl, who had turned 11 just four days before the tragedy, had a "bright future".

The court heard Evha's family were still struggling after her death, with the judge adding her mother is "is still trying to come to terms" with the tragedy.

And the judge said there was "no prospect of the fine being paid" given the company operating the park at the time, had since gone into administration.

But he added: "In my judgment it would be wholly inappropriate to do other than impose the fine which the offence merited.

"The public and Evha's family must not be led to think that this serious offence, which resulted in the death of a child, can properly be met by only a nominal (financial) penalty."

He added: "I bear in mind there are other similar rides in the United Kingdom, I bear in mind that this theme park has been sold to another operator and the staff transferred over.

"It is important that lessons are learned and the seriousness of the defendant company's failing in this case is marked by an appropriate punishment."

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