Kansas plans full audit of Schlitterbahn water park's inspection - KCTV5

Kansas plans full audit of Schlitterbahn water park's inspection records

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The state Department of Labor said Wednesday that it will conduct the audit before the Schlitterbahn park opens its annual season May 25. (Chopper5) The state Department of Labor said Wednesday that it will conduct the audit before the Schlitterbahn park opens its annual season May 25. (Chopper5)
TOPEKA, KS (AP) -

Kansas plans to conduct a full audit of a water park's inspection records before it reopens this spring, a state official said Wednesday, after criminal charges were filed over the decapitation of a 10-year-old boy on the world's tallest waterslide there in 2016.

The state Department of Labor said it will review reports from daily inspections of rides by park staff at the Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City, Kansas, before it is scheduled to reopen May 25 for its annual season. A state law enacted last year after Caleb Schwab's death requires amusement parks to keep daily reports on their rides and to give them annual inspections.

A grand jury has issued indictments with multiple criminal charges against the park; the construction company that built the giant waterslide; former park operations director Tyler Austin Miles; the ride's co-designer, John Timothy Schooley, and a co-owner of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, Jeffrey Wayne Henry.

Henry, Schooley and the construction company face one felony count of second-degree murder and Miles and the park, one count of involuntary manslaughter, over Caleb's death. The raft the boy was riding on the 17-story Verruckt ride went airborne and hit an overhead loop.

State law allows parks to have their own staff do daily inspections and to have private inspectors do the annual inspections, rather than state inspectors. The inspectors doing the annual reviews must be either licensed engineers with two years' experience with amusement rides, have five years' experience in inspecting rides or have been certified by one of three industry groups.

Hersh said the audit will show whether the park has been conducting the required inspections and maintaining proper records on them as it prepares to reopen for the sesason.

"They will have a notebook full of inspections," she said.

Schlitterbahn spokeswoman Winter Prosapio said in a statement Tuesday that the latest indictment against Henry, Schooley and the construction company "is filled with information that we fully dispute."

The company also posted a statement on its website that all park attractions are "thoroughly inspected daily" by supervisors and managers.

Also, it said, before the park opens for the season, each ride has a thorough internal review and an inspection from "an independent third party." The statement said the park's insurance provider also conducts annual inspections.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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