Funeral For Girl Who Died In Drayton Manor
16 May 2017, 17:44
The headteacher of an 11-year-old schoolgirl who died after falling from a theme park water ride has thanked well-wishers for their overwhelming support at her funeral.
Around 600 mourners attended the service in memory of Evha Jannath, who died in hospital after being rescued from the water by staff at Drayton Manor theme park near Tamworth a week ago.
Evha, whose death is being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive, was one of a party of children from Leicester's Jameah Girls Academy on a school trip to the park.
After her funeral, held at a Muslim prayer hall at Leicester's Saffron Hill Cemetery on Tuesday, the academy's head, Erfana Bora, said pupils visited Evha's family to comfort them and "say goodbye'' to their friend before the service.
Ms Bora told reporters: "It is overwhelming to see so many people here today, praying for Evha and showing support for her family.
"As a school, we have been touched by the enormity of support that we have received from the community of Leicester, as well as nationally and globally.
"We would like to also thank fellow schools in Leicester and Leicester City Council for providing practical help, including counselling for our pupils and staff.''
The headteacher added: "In Evha's memory, we have closed the school this afternoon. Tomorrow we will resume class but with a heavy heart, knowing that we do so without Evha.
"In the coming days, Evha's friends will help the school to establish a fitting tribute to her memory.
"In the meantime, Evah's mum has asked me this morning to keep Evha's name on the school register. I am happy to do so as Evha will always be in our hearts and a part of our school.''
Staffordshire Police is assisting the inquiry into the death of Evha, whose family are being supported by The Muslim Burial Council of Leicestershire.
The council said in a statement: "We would like to emphasise again that the full facts surrounding Evha's sad passing have yet to be fully established and there is still an ongoing investigation.
"In light of this, we urge people to not speculate, or present as fact, any details surrounding Evha's passing.''
The council's chairman, Suleman Nagdi, also thanked those who had attended the funeral, many of whom did not know Evha's family.
He said: "The heart-breaking circumstances of Evha's untimely passing has truly captured the hearts and minds of so many people, right across the diverse communities both in this country and abroad.
"We know how much the loss of Evha has devastated her friends and family and we wish to again extend our sincerest condolences.''
The youngster's family said last week that they have been "torn apart'' by the tragedy.
They requested that Drayton Manor's Splash Canyon rapids ride is suspended until the inquiry has concluded and the full facts are established.