Schlitterbahn opens in KCK today, but 11 rides remain closed

Schlitterbahn opened its Kansas City, Kan., park to the public Friday for its 2018 season, but only partially as a number of rides remained closed until compliance issues identified in a regulator's report are cleared up.

Late Thursday, Schlitterbahn announced it would open as planned Friday, but acknowledged that 11 rides would be off limits for now.

A Kansas Department of Labor audit released earlier this week identified problems ranging from missing paperwork to parts in need of replacement on 11 rides at Schlitterbahn. The company called the audit "malicious" and pushed back on several of its claims. But Schlitterbahn still chose to not open those attractions until it and the Wyandotte County District Attorney can agree that they are in compliance.

The attractions that visitors could use Friday were Torrent, Torrent Beach, Torrent Cove, Kinderhaven, the Pirate Ship and Henry’s Hideout, according to a statement from Schlitterbahn. None of those rides was the subject of the KDOL audit.

Friday's opening came months after an affiliate of the company and three individuals associated with Schlitterbahn came under criminal charges in relation to the death of a 10-year-old boy on the Verruckt water slide in 2016.

A grand jury indictment alleges that the company and key personnel were negligent and careless in designing the 17-story water slide, which killed Caleb Schwab. The company insists it operates safely, and all the defendants have pleaded not guilty.

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