- Caleb Thomas Schwab, 12, was killed in mishap at a park in Kansas City
- The Verrueckt chute drops passengers 168 feet at 65mph and is 17 stories tall
- Spokeswoman from park said Caleb died on the ride, but could not say when he was killed if he dropped from the slide or fell
A 12 year-old son of Republican member of Kansas House of Representatives Scott Schwab, and 10 others, died Sunday on a tragic water slide accident in Kansas City, United States.
Schilitterbahn Waterpark spokesperson Winter Prosapio said the child, Caleb Thomas, died on one of the waterpark’s main attractions, Verrueckt, a 168-foot-tall (17-storey tall) water slide with 264 stairs leading to the top, which is billed by the Guiness World Records as the world’s tallest water slide. The ride drops riders 168 feet at 65mph.
Prosapio said the child’s cause of death hasn’t been confirmed, whether he died on the ride or if he fell from the slide.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time,” Prosapio said in a statement.
Kansas police authorities, on the other hand, declined to comment at the moment while investigation is still ongoing. The park and the Verrueckt rides will be closed pending an investigation.
It can be recalled that in 2014, the waterpark’s opening was delayed a few times with no reasons issued by the operators causing the delay.
Problems with a conveyor system that hauls 100-pound rafts to the top of the slide caused the cancellation of two media sneak preview days, also in that year.
Park officials, according to Prosapio, would not hesitate to delay the park’s operation in 2014 if they were not sure the slide is safe.
In relation to the 2014 delay, Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry told USA Today that he and senior designer John Schooley previously based their calculations when designing the slide on roller coasters. “But that didn’t translate to a water slide like Verrueckt,” Henry added.
Henry said: “In early tests, rafts carrying sandbags flew off the slide, prompting engineers to tear down half of the ride and reconfigure some angles at a cost of $1 million.”
Schlitterbahn Waterpark is located about 15 miles west of downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
Verrueckt means “insane” in German.