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Accidental death at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City.


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Folks take a look at the were the harness attaches to the seatbacks. I can't zoom in on my iPad.

 

It looks to me the seatbacks are foam and has been hand carved to retrofit these straps. Sure doesn't look like a factory job to me. So how are the straps attached? Glue? Run all the way through the seatbacks at a diagonal? Don't see any bolts. I wonder how hard it is to change them out? Were they ever changed out?

 

 

Also most of us know what happens at CP when the winds frequently kick up. A good 35-45 mph gust at the right angle might be just enough to lift that raft right out of the water into the nets. Certainly plausible the front rider was ripped from the restraints when colliding with the nets and support polls.

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As someone who rode this thing, I find it odd how selectively strict they are. Groups are weighed, are given a spiel by an employee (which I am shocked that his parents weren't required to be around for that, they make you verbally acknowledge the rules to partake), are weighed again, then ascend the tower. Once you get up there, the staff doesn't really seem to care. I remember sitting in the raft, they slapped the velcro on me and said to hold on. That was about it. I understand other water rides/slides don't really have more safety in place, but this is a whole different beast.

 

At the end of the day, Water Parks need to be held to the same, if not higher, scrutiny then Amusement Parks. There are so many uncontrollable variables at work when your source of momentum is water and gravity. No upstop wheels, no proper restraints. Water, air, and rubber. Something like this was bound to happen eventually, it's just unfortunate that it actually happened.

 

The whole situation is unfortunate. Loose restraints are a mechanical failure that wasn't taken seriously, and metal framing for the netting wasn't smart. This whole thing is a giant cluster.

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The thing that gets me is the netting. Why was it there? Most likely to prevent a boat from flying off a ride. I'm sorry, but as an engineer myself, I would have NEVER felt good about signing off on something where the "fail safe" is still a catastrophic accident.

 

I wonder why they put the netting so low, if it was placed up higher that would give a lot more leeway if the raft got air time but it would still keep the boat and riders from going over the side. My only guess is the ride wouldn't look as good with nets so high up.

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There are tons of solutions to make the hill "open air" without the need of metal framing or enclosing the airtime hill! Using glass cover, using inflatable/plastic/foam frames, using curved hard rubber to support the net from the sides, using magnets to hold the raft in place, etc. but one question I've always wanted to ask is:

 

Why the hell is the metal frame at the INSIDE of the net?

 

Nothing would've happened or the boy would only be injured if the net is suspended on the metal frame from the outside instead of supported from the inside. On top of that, if the net is not held on to the metal frame by anything, it only takes a breeze to lift the net up and turn the metal frame into a Saw death trap. Avoiding safety hazards like this should be written into the industry standards.

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There are tons of solutions to make the hill "open air" without the need of metal framing or enclosing the airtime hill! Using glass cover, using curved hard rubber support the net from the side, using magnets, etc. but one question I've always wanted to ask is:

 

Why the hell is the metal frame at the INSIDE of the net?

 

Nothing would've happened or the boy would only be injured if the net is suspended on the metal frame from the outside instead of supported from the inside. On top of that, if the net is not held on to the metal frame by anything, it only takes a breeze to lift the net up and turn the metal frame into a Saw death trap. Avoiding safety hazards like this should be written into the industry standards.

 

Same reasons posts holding "catch fences" at automobile race tracks are on the outside - to prevent additional unnecessary shearing of the car.

 

They built the ride, altered it to go faster over the top for this season, and then theres a mix of additional questions in that pile about what prior injuries might have taken place which weren't reported or of sufficient interest to public prior to this. The "A parent should have responsibility..." thing is trashola unless you believe every parent is a amusement park ride safety expert. Years of experience tells me otherwise. That tact leads to industry collapse, basically.

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Terrible.

 

As to parents, his dad, being a politician, was probably too busy to ride.

 

Looking at this, the airtime hill is really small compared to the drop, the modification to the hill gave more time to slow down but the actual crest was at least as sharp. I don't know how this works but really the speed over the hill should be regulated by electro-mechanical means. There are far too many variables to presume it will slow down exactly 65% or whatever. The netting seems a HUGE red flag except that they might occasionally send down unloaded boats. I don't entirely understand how the thing could create forces that need much of a restraint to stay in, it has no upstops or curves.

 

There's some possibility of misbehavior (standing, etc.) but seems most likely the light weight at the front of the boat caused higher speed, or allowed the front to lift in wind.

 

As to the ride, if I ran the park I'd want to remove every trace of it, and I see no chance of it reopening with that airtime hill and netting.

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Have any other Master Blaster style rides been closed for further investigation out there in the world? I know Veruckt is a completely different animal with it's size and speed and airtime, and the the rafts are entirely different than the standard rafts with the restraints, but there are a ton of master blaster rides out there in the world and mostly all of them have a similar net structure around the exposed portions of the slide.

 

Heck I rode one two weeks ago with my daughter in the front of the raft, and while the jets on that one are not nearly forceful enough to lift my fat butt out of the slide path it kinda makes me wonder if two smaller kids were to ride one could the combination of conditions and forces and whatever other human factor are in play could something like this happen on a slide with a 15 foot drop instead of a 50 foot drop?

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^While segments of the ride use Master Blaster's technology, rest assured Verruckt is NOTHING like a Master Blaster. For that matter, I wouldn't say the ride is much like a typical waterslide. It feels more like an extreme sport experience.

 

Whatever happened or however it did, I have to admit that Front Seat Verruckt Kiddies are essentially sandbags.

 

They mighta loved it, volunteered for it, stood in long line--wait, a Sandbag Express Lane of sorts--but that doesn't change what they were.

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I think what FKA is trying to say is that small children are often placed on Verruckt because they help bring groups into the weight tolerance. The 400-550 pound range is pretty narrow. Let's say you have two adults a little above average at 190 pounds each, the two of them are too light. But if you have three of them? Too heavy.

 

I have been to Schlitterbahn KC and rode Verruckt, and it can be hard to ride with the people you really want to. Typically what happens is that they will break groups of adults into pairs, and then pull a small kid from the line that brings the weight into the allowed range. If you are a child of that small size, you can ride Verruckt as often as you'd like. That explains in part why Caleb was riding with two strangers.

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Have any other Master Blaster style rides been closed for further investigation out there in the world? I know Veruckt is a completely different animal with it's size and speed and airtime, and the the rafts are entirely different than the standard rafts with the restraints, but there are a ton of master blaster rides out there in the world and mostly all of them have a similar net structure around the exposed portions of the slide.

 

Heck I rode one two weeks ago with my daughter in the front of the raft, and while the jets on that one are not nearly forceful enough to lift my fat butt out of the slide path it kinda makes me wonder if two smaller kids were to ride one could the combination of conditions and forces and whatever other human factor are in play could something like this happen on a slide with a 15 foot drop instead of a 50 foot drop?

That's my question as well... Why do all the Master Blaster/rocket slides use netting?... Doesn't make sense.

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I think what FKA is trying to say is that small children are often placed on Verruckt because they help bring groups into the weight tolerance. The 400-550 pound range is pretty narrow. Let's say you have two adults a little above average at 190 pounds each, the two of them are too light. But if you have three of them? Too heavy.

 

I have been to Schlitterbahn KC and rode Verruckt, and it can be hard to ride with the people you really want to. Typically what happens is that they will break groups of adults into pairs, and then pull a small kid from the line that brings the weight into the allowed range. If you are a child of that small size, you can ride Verruckt as often as you'd like. That explains in part why Caleb was riding with two strangers.

 

Exactly.

 

Hell, if I weighed 75 pounds and I could trounce the reservation system...? I'd do it, too.

Scoring more than two rides a day as an adult wasn't easy.

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^Any group of 2 or 3 between 400 and 550 pounds total is permitted to ride. I am pushing 300 pounds (was around 270 when I rode Verruckt) and I rode with my friend and one empty seat. I think our combined weight at the time was about 480, and they did look for a very small kid to fill out the group but it just wasn't going to happen.

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I know it's not the same, but that doesn't mean other operators won't take precaution to thoroughly investigate their rides before reopening them to their customers, especially if it is recommended by the manufacturer to do so. If I owned a slide that had netting on the ride path I'd probably be taking a close look at everything involved with that attraction today, even if it was a different kind of slide with different specs. and the possibility of something like this happening seemed completely unlikely I would still want to take a look at it.

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For a moment I had forgotten that the world has become stupid. Need to keep reminding myself why I don't even bother to post stuff on our own TPR forum anymore because humanity is just going down the shitter. This is why Donald Trump will be our next president and why Idiocracy is not a comedy but a documentary. Carry on people... I'll just watch from the sidelines... horrified.

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Robb that makes me sad, since i agree 98% of the time with your thoughts on things.

 

My thoughts on the Ride. The ride was Developed by a guy who has built some Water slides but in know way is an Engineer. He had the money and a dream and this is what came from it. Sad but it has happen and nothing can be changed now.

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Robb that makes me sad, since i agree 98% of the time with your thoughts on things.

 

My thoughts on the Ride. The ride was Developed by a guy who has built some Water slides but in know way is an Engineer. He had the money and a dream and this is what came from it. Sad but it has happen and nothing can be changed now.

 

This was my thought also. These are people who wanted to do something crazy and used a completely inappropriate model to do so. A water slide in no way could reasonably be expected to behave according to roller coaster physics. A legit ride engineer should have said no way to the whole design of this thing.

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Just want to clear somethings up. There are many waterslides that have a net covering the slide. This slide was engineered with safety and vigorously tested, which is the reason half the slide was rebuilt. A confirmed report is not out yet. Also thoughts with the family.

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I think it's important to keep in mind that even though this was done in house, the manufacturers of the slide know a hell of a lot more about the physics of water slides than anyone in this thread does. Instead of questioning their knowledge of physics, or the way they designed the slide, or how we would have designed it better why don't we just wait for the investigation to come out? If we had some engineers from Proslide or Whitewater in here then maybe it would be worth listening to their Monday morning quarterbacking about what went wrong (not that they would comment anyway), but the fact is nobody knows what happened, and nobody here knows how to design a water slide.

 

Some of the posts in this thread have been well thought out, but the posts that are suggesting solutions to specific problems with the design or making assumptions about the physics that were used in designing it when none of us know dick about designing water slides seem ridiculous to me.

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