Boy dies on water slide dubbed biggest in the world

The son of a Kansas politician died on a water slide that is billed as the world's largest.

Schlitterbahn's Verruckt speed slide in Kansas City. Pic: AP

Caleb Schwab, 10, was killed in the incident at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, which is located about 15 miles west of Kansas City, Missouri.

His father, Scott Schwab, is a Republican member of the Kansas House of Representatives from Olathe. He and his wife, Michele, have four sons.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The family issued a statement revealing that Caleb had died.

“Since the day he was born, he brought abundant joy to our family and all those he came in contact with,” the statement said.

Schlitterbahn spokeswoman Winter Prosapio said the child died on one of the park’s main attractions, Verruckt, a 168-foot-tall water slide that has 264 stairs leading to the top. The slide’s name means “insane” in German.

The park was closed after the incident on Sunday and remained shut yesterday, and the ride is closed pending an investigation, Ms Prosapio said.

“We honestly don’t know what’s happened,” she said. “That’s why ... a full investigation is necessary. We have to understand what’s happened.”

Ms Prosapio said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time,” adding that the boy’s family had been at the park with him.

She said the park’s rides are inspected daily, and inspected by an “outside party” before the start of each season.

Verruckt was certified as the world’s tallest water slide by Guinness World Records. Verruckt riders go down the slide in multi-person rafts and have to be at last 54 inches tall.

The slide’s 2014 opening was delayed a few times, though the operators did not provide reasons for the delays.