Schlitterbahn to open Friday amid legal battles, concern over sa - KCTV5 News

Schlitterbahn to open Friday amid legal battles, concern over safety violations

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The park has been under the microscope since a 10-year-old boy died on a popular ride. That scrutiny recently increased after an audit showed several violations throughout the park. (KCTV) The park has been under the microscope since a 10-year-old boy died on a popular ride. That scrutiny recently increased after an audit showed several violations throughout the park. (KCTV)
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Many Kansas City area residents will be heading to the lake, pools and water parks to enjoy the holiday weekend.

One place that's opening for the season on Friday is Schlitterbahn WaterPark in Kansas City, KS.

The park has been under the microscope since a 10-year-old boy died on a popular ride. That scrutiny recently increased after an audit showed several violations throughout the park.

The report from the Kansas Department of Labor cited 11 rides with violations. The park says even though Friday is opening day, those rides will not open until the violations are corrected.

According to Schlitterbahn’s website, the park has 22 rides, meaning the state found something wrong with half of them. The ride with the most violations was the Soaring Eagle Zipline. The reports state that the ride was operating with parts that needed replacement. Other rides, like the Storm Blaster, didn’t have proper height signage, which is required by the department of labor.

Schlitterbahn’s legal team has responded to the audit.

“The fact is the KDOL did not follow its own statutory requirements by publishing a list of misleading and false information concerning a park that was not yet open to the public and was not yet ready for operation,” their statement said.

An expert weighed in, saying the park and the state should be working together to keep people safe.

“The wrong attitude towards safety and the wrong attitude towards what the state is trying to do. The state's job is to protect people, their job is to protect people, so the state and Schlitterbahn should be working together,” engineer Stanley Demster said.

The park says it is working to fix the 11 cited rides.

The 2018 opening will be the park’s first after three of its owners and managers have been charged in the case of the young boy dying on a water slide.

Caleb Schwab was killed while riding the Verruckt water slide, dubbed the tallest water slide in the world, in 2016.

Schlitterbahn Kansas City, KS, Manager Tyler Miles is facing a reckless involuntary manslaughter charge.

Park owner Jeffrey Henry and the water slide’s designer John Schooley each face a charge of second-degree murder.

All three men will stand before a judge in July. Their trial is set to begin Sept 10.

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