Pastor remembers 19-year-old Nigerian student who died at Splash Kingdom

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CANTON, Texas (KETK) – Services at Redeemed Christian Church of God were wrapping up this past Sunday, just another day of worship for Emmanuel Ogunfuwa.

“We were together on Sunday, that’s on the 28th, he was on the drum set, after the service,” said Pastor Femi Vincent Adedinsewo. “We shared jokes, we roped mics together, we like father to son, we talked and they left and I left for my house.’

That would be the last time Pastor Femi would laugh and talk with 19-year-old Emmanuel Ogunfuwa.

“When I go to the hospital, the doctor call me beside and said this gentleman cannot make it,” said Pastor Femi.

After visiting Splash Kingdom, officials reported he passed away from what was described as a “medical emergency”, but no official cause of death has been released.

“I’m very sure he gave his life to Christ, as we’re talking now, I’m very sure he’s in heaven,” said Pastor Femi.

Now East Texans are voicing their concerns after Ogunfuwa’s death, and a 13-year-old boy who died at the Shreveport location just days before.

“My heart sunk, I was just immediately sick, because I immediately thought that could have been avoided, I truly feel in my heart it could have been avoided,” said one concerned local.

After visiting the waterpark, she believes the park is understaffed. She also stated that Splash Kingdom has strict rules that didn’t allow her son to wear his life jacket on any slides, including the Volcano Slide where Ogunfuwa was found.

“That particular ride was one of the ones that I fussed with them about, asking them, will you let my son wear his life jacket, he really wants to go down that ride, he hasn’t got to do anything else here,” said the woman.

Pastor Femi has some concerns too about safety at the park.

“I started hearing some issues on the news about the water park, that some days ago, a couple of days ago, something like this happened too,” said Pastor Femi. “Then the authorities need to do a little bit more investigation about the safety of that water park because we can’t afford to be losing our young ones.”

We contacted Splash Kingdom for further comment on these concerns and didn’t hear back.

RELATED CONTENT: UT Tyler student dies at Splash Kingdom Waterpark in Canton

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