Terrifying video shows testing of fatal waterslide
FOOTAGE has emerged of rafts on the world's tallest waterslide flying off into the air, two years before a 10-year-old boy was killed on the same ride.
Caleb Schwab, son of Kansas State Rep. Scott Schwab, died on Sunday while riding the 168-foot-high Verrückt slide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City.
Witnesses described gruesome scenes at the theme park, saying they saw the boy fly out of the raft, through the harness, and hit the safety netting above where he was beheaded.
The Verruckt slide did not feature a safety net enclosing the chute to keep the rafts secured in early 2014, when it was filmed for the Travel Channel's Xtreme Waterparks series.
The ride was also half the size it eventually turned out to be.
The original May 2014 opening date for the ride was pushed back after early tests showed rafts carrying sandbags flying off the slide, prompting engineers to tear down half of the ride and reconfigure some angles.
Two media sneak preview days in 2014 were also canceled because of problems with a conveyor system that hauls the 100-pound rafts to the top of the slide.
A promotional video about building the slide includes footage of two men riding a raft down a half-size test model and going slightly airborne as it crests the top of the first big hill.