KDOL responds to fatal waterslide accident

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Department of Labor responded Tuesday in a press release following a tragic incident Sunday at Schlitterban Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas where a state lawmaker’s 10-year-old son died of a neck injury while riding down “Verruckt”, labeled as the world’s tallest waterslide.

KSNT News’ Harrison Drake was at KDOL for about 2.5 hours to speak with someone. Other media outlets from Kansas City were asked to leave or were kept outside.  A spokesperson did come out and read the press release that was sent out earlier on Tuesday.

KDOL says safety reviews and regulatory compliances fall to various entities. State law and regulations require that amusement parks perform annual safety inspections by safety officials licensed by the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials. KDOL tells KSNT News they have the authority to conduct random inspections of the records and certificates of inspection, along with any other documentation related to statutory compliance.

All occurrences of serious injury resulting from the operation of an amusement ride require that the ride be immediately discontinued by the park pending further inspection. KDOL is acting to ensure full compliance with this and other provisions of the act and associated administrative regulations.

KDOL says they have requested documentation from Kansas Schlitterbahn Water Park to ensure all safety requirements have been followed.

State law leaves it to the Kansas Department of Labor to adopt rules and regulations relating to certification and inspection of rides, adding that a permanent amusement ride must be scrutinized by “a qualified inspector” at least every 12 months.

KDOL and Secretary Lana Gordon wish to extend their continued thoughts and prayers to the Schwab family during this incredibly difficult time.

Kansas City, Kansas, police issued a statement late Monday afternoon saying that Caleb suffered a fatal neck injury around 2:30 p.m. while he was riding the slide with two women, neither of whom was related to him. They suffered minor facial injuries and were treated at an area hospital, police said.

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