A 10-year-old boy was taken to the hospital after falling off a slide at a water park last week in California.
The video, captured by a photographer for the Bay Area News Group, shows the boy being ejected from the bottom of a slide at The Wave water park in Dublin, Calif. The boy spun off the chute at the bottom of the three-story slide called the Emerald Plunge and could be seen spinning 180 degrees before sliding across the concrete.
The boy is then seen jumping up and walking away from the area without help. A spokeswoman for the park told East Bay Times that the boy was shaken up and suffered minor scratches on his shoulder.
“He got up immediately and as any boy would be, he was stunned,” Dublin Assistant City Manager Linda Smith, who was standing next to the slide when the boy fell off, said. “I was worried if he was mentally OK, but physically he just had some scrapes.”
He was helped by a lifeguard and treated with a first aid kit at the park but was later taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution.
Slides Shut Down For Investigation
The Wave, a brand new water park in the suburbs of San Francisco, opened as part of a $43 million complex for the first time over Memorial Day weekend.
After the incident, the Emerald Plunge was shut down indefinitely while investigators evaluate the safety of the slide.
“Whenever we have an incident, no matter what magnitude, where someone gets injured we will shut the slide down and make sure that the slide is operating safely,” city parks director Jim Rodems said, according to CBS News.
A slide adjacent to the Emerald Plunge called the Dublin Screamer was also shut down in order for manufacturer WhiteWater West Industries to come and assess the safety of the slides.
“We are not going to reopen the slides until we are sure of their safety,” said Smith.
Officials from the park told the East Bay Times that they followed the manufacturer’s guidelines for the slide and asked riders to cross their arms and legs when sliding down. It is still unclear whether the boy who fell off had his legs spread or crossed.
A third ride called the Riptide Rider was also shut down Sunday so staff could re-examine its water pressure. It reopened to riders on Monday.
Representatives from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration and WhiteWater West Industries inspected the slides on Monday. There are no plans to reopen the slides in the near future.
Boy Killed in Waterslide Accident in 2016
The latest incident is just another in a series of dangerous injuries suffered at water parks. In August 2016, a 10-year-old boy died on a ride in Kansas billed as the world’s tallest waterslide.
Caleb Thomas Schwab fell off the 17-story waterslide at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City and suffered a fatal neck injury at the end of the ride. The slide has been closed since.
Earlier this year, the family, which includes his father, Republican Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab, agreed to a settlement of nearly $20 million. Two companies associated with the water park will pay $14 million and the rest will come from the general contractor, the raft manufacturer and a company that consulted on the ride.
“The Schwab family remains determined to hold all those responsible for this tragedy accountable, while doing all they can to ensure this never happens again to another family,” the family said in a statement about the settlement.
Some states have begun increasing regulations on amusement and water parks. According to CBS News, 20 states have government oversight on the parks and nine have none at all.
Kansas recently strengthened regulations on amusement parks to help prevent future injuries and deaths.
“Accidents are accidents, but you need to take all care and due diligence as possible, and that’s what the operators need to do,” said John Barker, a state representative in Kansas who sponsored the bill.
A safety inspector told CBS News after the incident at The Wave that regulations need to be more consistent across the United States.
“It just reinforces my feelings and my strength that we need to provide more oversight and inspections and do what is right, not necessarily what is cost effective,” Ken Martin said. “We need to spare no money in developing regulations that are consistent across all 50 states. There is absolutely no excuse or reason why a 10-year-old child should be ejected from a water slide.”
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