KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas state police are investigating the death of a child Sunday on a water slide at the Schlitterbahn water park.
The boy died while riding the Verrückt, the world’s tallest water slide, said spokeswoman Winter Prosapio.
The park in Kansas City, Kansas, has been closed for the investigation, she said.
No other details were immediately released about the child.
Thousands of children are hurt annually on amusement rides, according to a 2013 study by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, which examined data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Head and neck injuries were the most common at 28%, with 1.5% of the injuries requiring hospitalization, the study said.
Consumer Product Safety Commission statistics for 2015 are not available, but a review of the raw data found 45,000 injuries associated with amusement rides and water slides nationwide; about 30,000 of these cases involved those under age 18.
Verrückt, 17 stories high — higher than Niagara Falls — propels riders at 50 mph. It’s name translates as “insane” in German.
Its height of 168 feet 7 inches is 5 feet taller than the previous record holder, a water slide at a Rio de Janeiro country club. Verrückt was built in Kansas City because it didn’t have a height restriction, its designer designer John Schooley told CNN when it opened in July 2014.
Jeff Henry, owner of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, was at a trade show and decided he wanted to build the tallest, fastest water slide at one of his five Schlitterbahn water parks, Schooley said.