Kansas City Water Slide To Be Closed Down After Child’s Accidental Decapitation
The world’s tallest water slide, the 168-foot-tall Verruckt, is set to be removed from Kansas City’s Schlitterbahn Waterpark, following an investigation into the death of 10-year-old Caleb Scwhab, who died in an accident at the park this August.
Authorities initially confirmed Caleb’s cause of death as a fatal neck injury but later acknowledged that he was decapitated in the accident. Two unrelated women aboard the same boat as him suffered minor facial injuries.
On Tuesday Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts issued a statement about the incident where they revealed plans to demolish Verruckt:
“All of us at Schlitterbahn have been heartbroken over the tragedy that occurred on Verrückt. In our 50 years of providing an environment for families and friends to gather, we’ve never experienced this kind of devastating event,” the park’s statement to PEOPLE read. “The safety of our staff and our guests is our top priority. We are parents and grandparents ourselves and many of us have ridden Verrückt with our own children and grandchildren over the years it operated.”
Adding, “Once the investigation is concluded and we are given permission by the court, Verrückt will be decommissioned – closed permanently and the slide removed from the tower. In our opinion, it is the only proper course of action following this tragedy.”
“We continue to fully cooperate with investigative teams and work with the families, their attorneys and our staff impacted by this accident,” the statement continued. “As we move forward, we assure everyone who works for us and the community: we remain wholly committed to our Kansas City park and the original vision of Schlitterbahn – providing a great place to work and an environment for families and friends to gather together.”
17 stories high, the Verrückt (German for “crazy” or “insane”) was named the world’s tallest water slide by Guinness World Records in 2014. The park required riders to be at least 54 inches tall to go down the slide in multi-person rafts that hold up to 550 pounds.
Our thoughts and prayers are still with the Scwhab family. There’s nothing worse than losing a child and we can’t even imagine the horror of losing him in such a terrible way.