Kansas finds violations at water park where boy died in 2016

Posted at 3:47 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-22 19:15:37-04

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A state inspection has found 11 alleged violations of regulations at a Kansas water park where a 10-year-old boy died in 2016.

The Kansas Department of Labor made an audit of the Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City public Tuesday, a day after issuing a notice to the park. The inspection was last week.

The audit said safety signs in some park areas were not adequate, records were not available for review, and some operating and training manuals were not complete.

The audit found violations on 11 different rides.

According to the audit, the Soaring Eagle Zipline, which is entering its sixth operating season, had many parts that required replacement by the manufacturer. That includes the ride's main drive cable. It was also missing a height measuring device.

Storm Blaster waterslide was missing a height measurement device.

The 2017 and 2018 annual inspection reports for each ride need to be maintained on-site for three years and must be made available to KDOL.

A Schlitterbahn spokeswoman sent 41 Action News the following statement regarding the KDOL report: 

"Before opening to the public, Schlitterbahn is addressing the bulk of the administrative, record keeping, and documentation issues noted in the KDOL report and is challenging the accuracy of the report in several important respects. 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. Our commitment to safety remains our highest priority. The report found no issues with the mechanical function of our rides. Later this week Schlitterbahn will file a letter with the KDOL challenging the details of the report and we look forward to sharing those details publicly at that time." 

All 11 counts constitute a first offense, therefore the park was issued a warning.

The Kansas Secretary of Labor may impose a fine of no more than $1,000 for any violation and each day the violation continues can constitute a separate offense.

The boy who died nearly two years ago suffered a neck injury while riding a now-closed giant waterslide.

The full audit can be read below: