UPDATE: Verruckt to remain closed for rest of season

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- UPDATE: The Verruckt water slide will remain closed for the rest of the season at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kan. The decision to keep the world's tallest water slide closed follows the death of a 10-year-old boy from injuries in a Sunday afternoon accident on the slide.

Schlitterbahn is open through Labor Day (September 5) before closing for the year.

Tuesday, a Schlitterbahn spokeswoman issued the following statement:

"We will re-open tomorrow at noon and will not be providing interviews. We appreciate your sensitivity and ask for your continued respect and consideration of the Schwab family, our guests, and staff during this difficult time as we continue to pray for everyone impacted. Our update is below.

Here at Schlitterbahn we continue to pray and keep in our thoughts everyone impacted by the tragic events on Sunday and we are keeping the Schwab family in our prayers. A limited portion of our Kansas City park will open for guests at noon on Wednesday. Verrückt will not re-open for the remainder of the season."

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The funeral for a state lawmaker's 10-year-old son killed while riding a Kansas waterslide on Sunday will be held Friday in Olathe.

Police say Caleb Thomas Schwab died of an unspecified neck injury while riding the 168-foot-tall Verruckt at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City.

Neither investigators nor park officials have released specifics about how the boy sustained his fatal injuries. Caleb was the son of Republican state Rep. Scott Schwab.

A family spokesman, the Rev. Clint Sprague, says visitation will be held Thursday evening at LifeMission Church in Olathe. A memorial service is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

The park is scheduled to reopen Wednesday, though the waterslide remains closed.

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In the wake of the terrible tragedy that claimed the life of a 10-year-old boy at Schlitterbahn Water Park on Sunday, new information is still being released.

Locally, two Lincoln teens remember the fatal incident on the Verruckt water slide in Kansas City, Kansas from the front row seat that they shared.

Jess Sanford and Melanie Gocke both witnessed the accident first hand.

They said they were in Kansas City finishing off the summer in style, and had just recently exited the water slide where Caleb Schwab died. Both of them said it was scary, but fun.

Several hours after they went down the 17-story water slide, they heard screams and saw the 10-year-old falling down the slide.

Both said that they thought the Velcro straps holding them in probably weren't enough, and for Melanie, her thoughts went to her younger sister.

"When I saw him falling down, I automatically thought of my little sister who rode with us, who rode the ride with us three hours beforehand,” Gocke said. “She was in the front seat just like Caleb was, and they're about the same age and size and stuff and I thought that could have been her and I was really scared for her."

The girls also say they thought the ride didn't really fit the rides at the rest of the park which were more family friendly.
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Schlitterbahn Water Park released a statement saying the park is tentatively scheduled to reopen Wednesday, but Verruckt, the water slide on which a 10-year-old boy was killed on Sunday, will remained closed.

The boy who died in an accident at Schlitterbahn Sunday afternoon has been identified as Caleb Schwab, son of State Rep. Scott Schwab, of Olathe.

Scott Schwab released the following statement through Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick:

"Michele and I want to thank the Olathe and Kansas City, Kansas communities and all of our friends and family for their outpouring of support and compassion as it relates to the sudden loss of our son, Caleb Thomas Schwab.

Since the day he was born, he brought abundant joy to our family and all those he came in contact with. As we try to mend our home with him no longer with us, we are comforted knowing he believed in our Savior Jesus, and they are forever together now. We will see him another day.

Your continued prayers are welcome and appreciated. We appreciate your understanding of our family's need for privacy during this difficult time of grieving."

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Kansas City, Kansas police say a 10-year-old boy died on a popular water slide at a local water park Sunday, CBS affiliate KCTV reported.

Police spokesman Officer Cameron Morgan said the boy died Sunday at the Schlitterbahn Water Park. Morgan said he does not yet know the circumstances of the death.

Police said the young boy died while riding the Verrückt ride, which uses the German word for "insane" in its title, and which the park has dubbed the world's tallest water slide. According to the park's website, a three person raft slides down a "jaw dropping" 168 foot 7 inch structure.

After the initial massive drop, riders are then "blasted back up a second massive hill and then sent down yet another gut wrenching 50 foot drop for the ultimate in water slide thrills," the description on the website explains.

The website says the two to three riders per raft must have a combined weight between 400 and 550 pounds. Riders must also be at least 54 inches tall.

In a media briefing Sunday afternoon, a spokeswoman for Schlitterbahn said the park's rides are inspected every day and are checked by independent inspection agencies at the beginning of the season, KCTV reported.

The park was cleared following the accident and closed while investigators from multiple agencies arrived on scene.

Water park officials say Schlitterbahn will be closed Monday. Subsequently, the Verrückt is closed pending a full investigation.