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Kansas water park plans to tear down slide on which boy died


A Kansas water park plans to tear down a giant water slide on which a 10-year-old boy died in 2016.

The Kansas City Star reports an attorney representing an affiliate of Kansas City, Kansas, park operator Schlitterbahn said Thursday that the 17-story slide called Verruckt would start coming down about a week after Labor Day.

Attorney Melanie Morgan says the work is expected to take about three weeks. 

In this July 9, 2014 file photo, riders are propelled by jets of water as they go over a hump while riding a water slide called 'Verruckt' at Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City

In this July 9, 2014 file photo, riders are propelled by jets of water as they go over a hump while riding a water slide called ‘Verruckt’ at Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City

Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City, Kansas, where Caleb Schwab, ten, died in 2016 after going on the 'Verruckt' water slide (pictured)

Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City, Kansas, where Caleb Schwab, ten, died in 2016 after going on the ‘Verruckt’ water slide (pictured)

The Kansas City park posted a statement on its Facebook page saying it had received court approval to demolish the ride. 

Caleb Schwab was decapitated in August 2016 while riding the waterslide. 

His death led to criminal charges against the company that built the slide and five individuals, including Schlitterbahn’s co-owner.

Caleb Schwab (pictured) was decapitated in August 2016 while riding the waterslide

Caleb Schwab (pictured) was decapitated in August 2016 while riding the waterslide

Schlitterbahn says Caleb’s death was a tragic accident.

In May, the water park announced it will re-open for the season, despite being forced to keep nearly two-thirds of its rides closed after an audit found they violated regulations. 

Six attractions at the park are currently in operation, with 11 rides closed after they were found to violate state amusement park regulations, mostly pertaining to record-keeping and safety signs.  

The rides the park planned to keep closed initially were all mentioned in the audit and included various slides, a surfing ride and the Soaring Eagle ZipLine, a ‘dry’ ride that pulls riders in a two-seat chair across the park 100 feet above the ground. 

The park said in its Facebook posting that it has addressed the bulk of the audit issues but wants to let state and local officials, inspectors, park staff, consultants and attorneys finish ‘their process.’  

John Schooley is pictured in court in Kansas where he pleaded not guilty to second degree murder over the death of a boy who was decapitated on a slide he designed in 2016

John Schooley is pictured in court in Kansas where he pleaded not guilty to second degree murder over the death of a boy who was decapitated on a slide he designed in 2016

‘Until that process is complete, we will not open the other rides,’ the statement said.

But, the park also said, ‘We are glad to say that we have addressed the bulk of the issues in the report and we are fully confident that our rides and park are safe and ready.’   

City officials promised in March to audit the Schlitterbahn park’s records after a local grand jury issued multiple criminal indictments over Caleb’s death.

He was decapitated while riding a 17-story Verruckt waterslide, which was billed as the world’s tallest.

The slide began 168ft above ground with riders put in rafts and strapped in with velcro. After an initial, dramatic drop, the slide had a second hump of around 50ft. 

It was there where Caleb, whose raft had become airborne, flew directly into metal bars that supported netting. 

Two women in his raft suffered serious injuries as a result of the collision. His body was discovered at the end of the ride, once the raft had reached an entry pool.   

Caleb was the son of state Rep. Scott Schwab, of the Kansas City suburb of Olathe, and his death prompted lawmakers to strengthen the state’s regulation of amusement park rides in 2017. 

The co-owner of the Texas-based Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, one of the Verruckt slide’s designers, the Kansas City park’s former operations director and the company that built Verruckt all face numerous felony charges. They have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

He was decapitated while riding a 17-story Verruckt waterslide, which was billed as the world's tallest

He was decapitated while riding a 17-story Verruckt waterslide, which was billed as the world’s tallest



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