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‘Boy was decapitated in US waterslide’

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A 10-year-old boy killed during a ride on the world’s tallest water slide was decapitated in the accident, a person familiar with the investigation said on Wednesday. Authorities have yet to explain how it happened.

The person was speaking on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about the death of Caleb Schwab on Sunday on the “Verruckt” raft ride at the Schlitterbahn WaterPark in Kansas City, Kansas.

Two women who are not family members were also in the raft at the time and were treated for facial injuries. The boy’s parents – Republican state Representative Scott Schwab and his wife, Michele – have not spoken publicly since the death. His funeral is scheduled for Friday.

Verruckt – which in German means “insane” – featured multi-person rafts that make a 51-meter drop at speeds of up to 112km/h, followed by a surge up a hump and a 15-meters descent to a finishing pool. Since the accident, investigators have removed netting that was held in place by supports above the 15-meter section from the hump to the finishing pool. Riders, who must be at least 1.37 meters tall, were harnessed with two nylon seatbelt-like straps – one that crossed the rider’s lap, the other stretching diagonally like a car shoulder seatbelt. Each strap was held in place by long Velcro-style straps, not by buckles. Riders would hold ropes inside the raft. (AP)

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