A boy was killed on a 17-story amusement park water slide, dubbed as the world’s largest, in Kansas.
The victim was identified as Caleb Thomas Schwab, son of Kansas Representative Scott Schwab.
Spokesperson for the Schlitterbahn Water Park, Winter Prosapio, said that the death occurred on the Verrückt water slide. Standing at a height of 168 feet, 7 inches, the speed of the ride can reach as high as 70 miles per hour. Following multiple delays, the ride was opened to the public on July 2014.
As reported by the Kansas City Star, it was not clear whether the 12-year-old died as a result of falling from the slide.
In his statement Prosapio said the ride has been closed “pending a full investigation.”
“We are saddened to share that a young boy died on Verrückt this afternoon. Given that safety is our first priority, we have closed our Kansas City park and we have closed the ride pending a full investigation,” Prosapio said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”
Those riding on the Verrückt water slide are required to be at least 14 years of age and 54 inches tall. However, it has not been made clear why Caleb was on the slide, which includes a three-person raft and the riders are strapped across the waist and shoulders.
At present the death is being treated as an accident, according to Kansas City Police Chief Terry Zeigler.
“Since the day he was born, he brought abundant joy to our family and all those who he came in contact with,” the family’s pastor said in a statement on behalf of the family, as reported by FOX 4 KC. “As we try and mend our home with him no longer with us, we are comforted knowing he believed in his Savior, Jesus, and they are forever together now. We will see him another day.”