A 10-year-old boy was horrifically decapitated when riding the world’s tallest water slide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City on Sunday.
Caleb Thomas Schwab, the son of Kansas state Congressman Scott Schwab, was killed when he became detached from the raft he was strapped in and was flung through the harness and into the safety net before plunging 50ft to his death.
The gruesome details emerge as the accident on the 168-foot-tall Verruckt ride is investigated by the police.
Winter Prosapio, a spokesman for Schlitterbahn, said Schwab died on one of the park’s main attractions – Verruckt, a 168ft-tall slide with 264 stairs leading up to the top.
Verruckt, which is German for ‘insane’, has been certified as the world’s tallest by Guinness World Records.
Witness Esteban Castaneda told ABC News that he heard ‘booms’ coming from the attraction, and saw a body wash down the slide immediately after a raft.
He rushed forward to help, but was told by lifeguards that there was nothing he could do. It was at this point he noticed that the boy had been decapitated.
Castaneda added that he had ridden Verruckt earlier in the day with his cousin’s 14-year-old daughter. She had told him the Velcro on her safety belt had come undone towards the end of the ride.
Kansas City Police said Schwab’s death had been caused by a ‘fatal neck injury at the end of the ride’.
Kobey Lyons, a visitor at Schlitterbahn, told Daily Mail a woman at the park had told him that the Velcro straps on the ride weren’t working properly on the day of the tragedy.
And witness Kelsey Friedrichsen added that she saw Schwab fly out of the ride after the first drop and hit the netting surrounding the ride, before falling around 50ft.
‘Since the day he was born, he brought abundant joy to our family and all those he came in contact with,’ a statement released by the family said.
Schlitterbahn was shut after the incident on Sunday, and remained closed on Monday.
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