Girl airlifted to hospital after UK theme park accident

LONDON (Reuters) - A girl was airlifted to hospital after she fell into water at a theme park in central England on Tuesday, emergency services said.

Paramedics and firefighters were called after the 11-year-old was reported to have fallen into the water at the Splash Canyon ride at the family-owned Drayton Manor park in Staffordshire.

Superintendent Carl Ratcliffe from Staffordshire Police said the girl, believed to be from Leicester, central England, had been airlifted to hospital. There was no information about her condition.

Ratcliffe said the girl’s parents had been informed along with the Health and Safety Executive.

“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,” Drayton Manor said in a statement.

Last year Merlin Entertainments, the world’s second-biggest visitor attractions group behind Walt Disney, pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety laws over a rollercoaster crash at its Alton Towers theme park that seriously injured five people in 2015.

Merlin, which blamed the accident on human error, was fined five million pounds for the crash which led to two victims requiring leg amputations.

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison