A schoolgirl who died falling from a ride at Drayton Manor was not accompanied by a teacher, an inquest has heard.
Evha Jannath, 11, was with four young friends when she boarded a circular boat on the theme park’s Splash Canyon at 2.04pm during a school trip on May 9, 2017.
She fell into the water six minutes later, having spent the entire ride not sat in her seat, Detective Inspector John Quilty told the inquest.
The schoolgirl was then taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital by air ambulance but later died of her injuries.
A post-mortem originally listed her cause of death as ‘blunt force chest trauma’, but a forensic pathologist later concluded she had drowned.
DI Quilty told the inquest that Evha had been allowed aboard the vessel without an adult due to the Staffordshire theme park’s height restrictions.
The schoolgirl and her friends had been on the ride ‘without incident’ and accompanied by teachers earlier that day.
A signed risk assessment prepared by the school before the trip stated that a member of staff would be ‘allocated’ to groups of five or six primary age pupils, like Evha.Welsh fans managed to gatecrash South Africa rugby team's victory party
The member of staff allocated to Evha’s group had remained at the exit of the Splash Canyon while they went around the ride, the inquest heard.
CCTV viewed by the jury showed the girls leaving their seats and not keeping hold of the safety ride while on the boat.
DI Quilty said: ‘We know children act in different ways and you will see, sadly, that not just Evha but other children did not adhere to the rules of the ride.’
He added: ‘At no point do we actually see [Evha] sat [in her seat] on the ride.’
Evha was standing up in the boat when it approached the steep mechanised ramp at the end of the ride and she fell into the water when it hit a wooden barrier designed to guide the vessel in.
DI Quilty stated that it was the ‘worst possible time’ for Evha to fall in, but noted that she was able to stand up in the water, which only came up to her thighs.
The CCTV footage shows her wading towards the end of the road and only narrowly avoiding an empty boat before attempting to climb the travelator.Moped mugger who targeted women on their own is jailed for eight years
She then disappears from view, with DI Quilty telling the inquest she had fallen into a pit of run off water which was about 12-foot deep.
He continued: ‘Evha makes her way towards the end of the ride to try to be re-united with her friends. Evha’s teacher shouted out to Evha to stay where she was.
‘She described Evha as seeming uninjured.’
The teacher tried to climb over the barrier to get to Evha but was unable to do so, the inquest heard.
The schoolgirl was then found face-down in the water by a member of park staff, just 11 minutes after she first boarded the ride.
Leicester Royal Infirmary pathologist Dr Malcolmson examined the youngster’s body and found a number of external injuries and internal injuries, including a broken pelvis and organ damage.
He said he originally thought it was ‘most likely Evha died as a result of blunt force trauma to the chest’, but also supported a second conclusion that she died of drowning.
The Splash Canyon ride remains closed at Drayton Park.
The inquest continues.