Kansas Lawmakers are asking questions after Schlitterbahn tragedy

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The tragedy at the Schlitterbahn Water Park is something no one imagined. Now, lawmakers are sharing what they think they should do in light of the tragedy.

“It was just very, very sad and tragic,” Kansas State Representative Jim Gartner said.

“No words of mine could resolve the sorrow and grief of a loss so overwhelming,” Representative Lane Hemsley said.

That is how lawmakers reacted to the news of Representative Scott Schwab’s son being killed on a water slide at Schlitterbahn. Now, two lawmakers KSNT News spoke with are waiting before taking action in the statehouse.

“I think we should wait and see to see what the investigation shows,” said Rep. Gartner

“Following the full investigation, any action taken from the state or any of its associated departments taken now or in the future I believe will require a measured response,” Hemsley said.

While 2 lawmakers are waiting for the preliminary report to come out, one Kansas City lawmaker thinks there should be something done immediately.

Democratic State Senator from Kansas City David Haley said he is hoping for a review of the safety measures at amusement parks. This something Representative Jim Gartner agreed with. Rep. Gartner said the inspection process by the Kansas Department of Labor needs to be reviewed.

“I think we ought to look at and question why aren’t they inspecting those types of amusement parks,” Rep. Gartner said.

When it comes to what Rep. Gartner thinks will happen…

“There ought to be a conversation with the Department of Labor and get with their folks and the Secretary of the Department of Labor and see what we can work out going forward,” Rep. Gartner said.

Rep. Gartner says if they have a conversation, it will be focused around one burning question.

“I’m wondering if there hasn’t been any pressure applied to that state department to say you have an inspector or a group of inspectors, so what is going on? What are you doing?” Rep. Gartner said.

As of right now, Rep. Gartner told KSNT News there is no legislation for a review of the safety process conducted by the Department of Labor. Despite current considerations, no laws would be changed by lawmakers until they return to the statehouse next year in January.

This story has been corrected to show it was Representative Lane Hemsley KSNT News spoke to, not Senator Anthony Hensley. 

 

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