TWO teenage boys have died at Splash Kingdom water parks in America just days apart, police have confirmed.
However bosses at the family parks, in Louisiana and Texas, have been slammed for giving grieving families “a slap in the face” by continuing to operate despite the tragedies.
Kendall Williams, 13, died on July 25 after being found face-down in a swimming pool at the water park in Shreveport, Louisiana, according to cops.
Just three days later, on July 28, Emmanuel Ogunfuwa, 19, died at Splash Kingdom in Canton, Texas.
Shreveport police officer Christina Curtis told Shreveport Times that Kendall was swimming when he disappeared under the water and didn’t come back up.
Curtis said that lifeguards jumped into the pool to rescue him, and performed CPR.
Firefighters took the boy to a local hospital where he died just before 6pm local time, says a coroner’s report. A post-mortem is being carried out.
The University of Texas, in Tyler, released a statement following the death of Emmanuel – one of their students – in Canton.
It said: “We are saddened by the news of Emmanuel’s passing and offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends.
“UT Tyler has been in contact with his family to offer and coordinate support.”
Local reports say that Emmanuel was found unresponsive after being rescued from a 10-foot deep pool near the volcano slide.
CPR was performed on him, and he was airlifted to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Splash Kingdom water parks in Shreveport and Canton posted brief statements on Facebook following both of the boys’ deaths.
The waterpark in Shreveport said in regards to Kendall’s death: “Our prayers are with this precious family as well as our first responders and leadership team at Splash Kingdom Shreveport during this very difficult time.
“Our initial investigation into this incident reveals that the water safety team responded to our guest within seconds and provided appropriate care while awaiting Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
“Responding police officers noted guest comments, praising the actions of our lifeguard team.
“It is our understanding that an autopsy will be completed to aid in determining the cause of this tragic death.
“Splash Kingdom is committed to maintaining the highest standards in water safety for all of our guests.
“We continue to pray for this family during their time of great loss.”
Crystal Payne responded: “On behalf of my family we appreciate [your] thoughts and prayers. Greatly appreciated. Continue to lift our family in prayers.”
However, Splash Kingdom in Canton was criticised by one woman, who posted: “Can’t believe this place continued to operate Sunday afternoon while this [rescue] was happening. Opened again later Sunday evening and was open Monday with business as usual.
“What a slap in the face of the family of the young man who died in Canton as well as the one who died in Shreveport.”
But the Canton water park said on Facebook that “CPR was performed and additional equipment was utilised to provide care while awaiting EMS.”
It added: “All of Splash Kingdom holds a heavy heart today as lifeguards and management in Canton responded to a medical need for an adult male inside the park.
“We are grateful for their assistance as well as the participation of several guests with extensive medical training, who worked alongside our team during this tragic time.
“We are praying for the family of this man, as well as the lifeguard team that responded to him.”
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The teenagers’ tragic deaths come after a string of horrific incidents in water parks in Spain, including a man who was left mute and paralysed after breaking his neck in a freak accident.
And a Brit mum lost six pints of blood in a Tenerife water slide accident that tore her uterus open.