Crane Dismantles Kansas Water Slide Where Boy Was Decapitated

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The 17-story water slide once touted as the tallest in the world is in the process of being torn down, two years after 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was decapitated while riding it. 

The Verrückt slide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City has been closed since the Aug. 7, 2016, incident. Caleb died after the raft he was riding in went airborne and he hit a metal support for netting above the slide, beheading him. Two other women in the raft were also injured.

A crane arrived to begin dismantling the ride last week.

From the ride’s opening on July 10, 2014, to Caleb’s death, 13 people were allegedly injured on the slide, investigators said in court papers earlier this year. 

Rafts on the ride had a tendency to go airborne, according to the documents, which state that the ride underwent a redesign in an attempt to fix the problem.

Investigators allege the company hastily built the water slide to earn the title of world's tallest, ignoring known safety concerns about the ride in its rushed construction.

Five people have been charged in connection with Caleb's death, including park co-owner Jeff Henry and designer John Schooley. Two, David Hughes and John Zalsman, have since been acquitted. Those remaining have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial. 

Caleb's family received a nearly $20 million settlement in the boy's death from a combination of companies involved in the construction and operation of the ride.

Verrückt is German for "insane." It stood at 168 feet tall, which is about the same height as Niagara Falls.


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