Girl (11) dies after accident at UK theme park

Police said she had apparently fallen into the water

Girl (11) dies after accident at UK theme park

Image: Facebook/Drayton Manor

An 11-year-old girl has died after being airlifted from a British theme park after reportedly falling into the water.

Police said she had apparently fallen from the Splash Canyon ride at Drayton Manor in Staffordshire.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it had been called to the park at 2.18pm - with an emergency response team arriving within seven minutes.

Superintendent Carl Ratcliffe said the girl had been flown to Birmingham Children's Hospital.

A spokesman for Drayton Manor said: "The Splash Canyon ride has been closed following an incident this afternoon. Emergency services are at the scene and our fully trained park staff are assisting."

The UK's Health and Safety Executive said it was making "initial inquiries".

Splash Canyon opened in 1993 and is described as Drayton Manor's "very own river rapids".

It has a maximum capacity of 126 people - 21 boats with six people in each - and a minimum height of 0.9m.

Pregnant women and people with heart conditions or back and neck problems are advised not to use the ride.

The round boats have a central circular bar for riders to hold on to but in footage posted online by theme park fans the seats do not appear to have any seat belts or other restraints.

The park's website says: "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."

Drayton Manor - which includes a Thomas the Tank Engine-themed area - opened in 1949 and is the UK's fifth most popular theme park.

An incident on Alton Towers' Smiler ride in June 2015 led to two teenagers losing a leg and left 14 others injured.

The park was later fined stg£5m (€5.94m) over health and safety failures.