KANSAS CITY, Kan. The Verruckt water slide will remain closed for the rest of the season at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kan. The decision to keep the world's tallest water slide closed follows the death of a 10-year-old boy from injuries in a Sunday afternoon accident on the slide.
Schlitterbahn is open through Labor Day (September 5) before closing for the year.
Tuesday, a Schlitterbahn spokeswoman issued the following statement:
We will re-open tomorrow at noon and will not be providing interviews. We appreciate your sensitivity and ask for your continued respect and consideration of the Schwab family, our guests, and staff during this difficult time as we continue to pray for everyone impacted. Our update is below.
Here at Schlitterbahn we continue to pray and keep in our thoughts everyone impacted by the tragic events on Sunday and we are keeping the Schwab family in our prayers. A limited portion of our Kansas City park will open for guests at noon on Wednesday. Verrückt will not re-open for the remainder of the season.
The Kansas City, Kan. Police Department says Caleb Schwab died from a neck injury sustained at the Schlitterbahn water park Sunday afternoon.
Police say Schwab was one of three passengers riding in a raft on the Verruckt water slide. At about 2:30 p.m., they say an off duty officer working at the park notified police dispatch that an incident had occurred and assistance was needed.
Police say two women riders in the raft, not related to Schwab, sustained minor facial injuries and were transported and treated at area hospitals.
Police say they responded to the scene and located Schwab, dead from a fatal neck injury. Police say the 10-year-old boy was located in the pool at the end of the ride. Police did not provide details on what may have caused the fatal injury, but say the incident remains under investigation with the KCPD's Major Case Unit. Police are encouraging anyone with information on what happened to call 913-573-6030.
Terran Hoyt, of Eureka, was one of the visitors who rode the Verruckt water slide Sunday. She says that as she turned her shoulder on the ride, the Velcro seat belt came off. Before fixing the seat belt, she says she voiced a concern that the Velcro wasn't strong, but was told by a worker that it was okay.
Nervous about the security of her own seat belt Hoyt says she held on extra tight. She and her cousin made it to the bottom of the world's tallest water slide safely, but an hour later, they learned of Caleb Schwab's death on the ride.
"People would pass by and their looks were just so terrifying," Hoyt says. "It was like, I started shaking because I was so scared of what could've happened."
UPDATE--3:20 p.m. Monday (Aug. 8). Schlitterbahn released a statement saying the park is tentatively scheduled to reopen Wednesday, but Verruckt will remain closed.
UPDATE: The boy who died in an accident at Schlitterbahn Sunday afternoon has been identified as Caleb Schwab, son of State Rep. Scott Schwab, of Olathe.
Scott Schwab released the following statement through Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick:
"Michele and I want to thank the Olathe and Kansas City, Kansas communities and all of our friends and family for their outpouring of support and compassion as it relates to the sudden loss of our son, Caleb Thomas Schwab.
Since the day he was born, he brought abundant joy to our family and all those he came in contact with. As we try to mend our home with him no longer with us, we are comforted knowing he believed in our Savior Jesus, and they are forever together now. We will see him another day.
Your continued prayers are welcome and appreciated. We appreciate your understanding of our family's need for privacy during this difficult time of grieving."
Schlitterbahn issued a statement on its Facebook page, expressing condolences to Schwab's family:
UPDATE: KCTV-5 confirms through Kansas City, Kan. police that a child was killed on Schiltterbahn's large water slide, Verruckt. The Associated Press reports the child as a 12-year-old boy.
Schlitterbahn advertises Verruckt as the world's tallest water slide, standing nearly 17 stories tall. In a media briefing, a park official says Schlitterbahn will be closed Monday and Verruckt will remain closed pending an investigation into the accident.
Kansas City, Kan. Police Chief Terry Ziegler confirms via Twitter that police in Kansas City are investigating an apparent accidental death at the Schlitterbahn water park.
From the scene, Kansas City CBS affiliate KCTV-5 reports the park is closed and a media briefing will soon begin.
Follow updates as we get them on www.kwch.com, the KWCH 12 app and on Eyewitness News at 5:30 on KWCH 12.