This news shocked me quite a bit as I go there frequently and I live down the street from the park. The park hasn't given details on how the kid died on the slide. They have rather not stated rather it was a fall or the kid died from some other pre existing health causes. I am wondering what happened but they stated it's under investigation. The news article is at http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article94254507.html (already submitted to Jeff)
I feel the ride is safe and the slide is surrounded by netting with the exception of the bottom of the first drop and the runoff at the end. The restraint system is 2 pairs of velcro strap belts with one on your lap and the other across your chest and over your right shoulder. The ride provides a light amount of air time off the top of the first drop but I doubt it's enough to throw anyone out unrestrained sitting properly. Also the ride is loaded lightest passenger in the front to heaviest in the back.
So I don't have any clue what happened. All I know is a 12 year old kid died on the ride today.
WHAM 13 (local ABC station)'s site shows a tweet from a local reporter saying that the kid was decapitated, they are trying to confirm.
But then again, what do I know?
The reddit rumor mill is saying that it was decapitation. Is that possible on this slide? One redditor reported being there at the time and seeing A LOT of blood draining out of the slide. Frickin horrific.
"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025
I hadn't heard anything from local media here on that part. However the kid was the Son of a Kansas Lawmaker in the update that has released the victim's name being Caleb Schwab, 10, son of Rep. Scott Schwab and his wife, Michele from Olathe, KS here http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article94254507.html
I can see how decapitation could occur on the netting supports during the airtime.
There are unconfirmed reports of harness problems reported by riders before the accident. An ejection due to a restraint failure, coupled with those metal supports for the netting, would likely produce the tragic outcome being rumored. Just tragic.
A Kansas City-area news reporter tweeted that authorities are removing some of the netting that surrounds the ride.
A tweet from another local news station shows a helicopter shot of the accident scene and reddish water at the runout at the end of the ride.
Lots of other tweets about people saying that restraints weren't working on the ride but I haven't seen any official accounts yet.
^So, are they removing all the netting, or just that section of it? That portion appears to be on the downslope of the smaller, second hill, correct?
Dunno... I edited my post because I don't want to speculate at this point. Sure does seem to support what people are reporting about the accident however.
^No problem. There is a lot of info to come out in the coming days. The allegations thus far fit my intial theory of how the rumored outcome could have happened. I can't believe how horrible a story this is, especially with a child involved.
The blood in the linked to picture above sickens me.
When this ride debuted, people were kind of leery of its safety. It had a few safety issues that needed to be solved before it even opened.
I never understood the point of the netting in water coasters. It always seemed pointless, and now theres proof it's dangerous.
Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.
How long before people start referring to that video from the Travel Channel show where the test raft goes totally airborne and making outlandish claims?
They reprofiled that second hill, of course, to stop the launching rafts, but there may be some legitimate questions about the design of this ride and whether it should have ever been built, pending the revelation of the cause of this accident.
The designers admitted they designed it with coaster specs in mind and that did not translate well to a waterside. They called it a "dangerous ride...now a dangerous safe ride" in the media. A Schlitterbahn owner is one of the designers. I watched that full Travel Channel show before it opened, and it seemed like just an experiment from the beginning. Not saying the ride design has anything to do with this, but in just two years of operation, someone died on it.
Just awful. I was having a discussion about this ride a month ago. I hate to use the word "predictable". This ride will likely never operate again and I think the future of the Kansas City park is in question.
He was 10 years old and the son of a politician there. The ride requirements are 54" and at least 14 years old to ride. Wonder how tall he was.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
I have read from some sources that the age requirement to ride was eventually dropped, and the 54" height minimum was kept.
I originally posted some thoughts that, in hindsight, were too much speculation and conjecture.
It sounds like the park was hosting an "Elected Officials Day". Originally I thought that perhaps the ride operator was pressured into letting the boy run based on the "do you know who I am" factor. Now, it may have just been a coincidence.
My kids were both short for their age but apparently the average height for a 10 year old boy is around 54" so my assumption that the boy was too short would have also been bad speculation. If a rider must be a minimum age of 14 and a parent/guardian allowed the child (or even signed a waiver) to try and ride then there is going to be some responsibility placed on the parent. (The post prior to mine may render this particular issue a non-starter.)
I realize the slide has been operating for a couple of years but I also question the use of velcro as a safety device.
This is just a horrific incident from all reports and I'm sick for all involved.
You must be logged in to post