Kansas water park indictments highlight patchwork of rules

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Kansas water park indictments highlight patchwork of rules
FILE - In this July 9, 2014, file photo, ride designer Jeffery Henry looks over his creation, the world's tallest waterslide called "Verruckt" at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kan. The Kansas City Star reports that Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts co-owner Henry was arrested Monday, March 26, 2018, in Cameron County, Texas. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A second-degree murder charge against the co-designer of a giant Kansas waterslide in the decapitation death of a 10-year-old boy highlight the patchwork of inconsistent rules for amusement parks across the country.

As parks prepare to open for the summer season in many states, at least seven don’t require annual inspections of rides.

The giant Verruckt waterslide was a big attraction for the Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City, Kansas, until Caleb Schwab’s decapitation in August 2016 forced the ride to shut down.

Federal officials know of 12 deaths at water parks since 2010.

Verruckt was the world’s tallest waterslide and was built under nearly non-existent Kansas rules. The boy’s death spurred lawmakers to pass a law but a safety expert says the state still is lax compared with many others.