Young boy dies in accident at Kansas water park

(Reuters) - A young boy died on Sunday in an apparent accident on what has been dubbed the world's tallest water slide at a popular water park in Kansas City, Kansas, park and police officials said.

The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department said in a brief statement that officers were working "an apparent accident death investigation" at the Schlitterbahn water park. Further details were not immediately provided and authorities could not be reached for comment.

Schlitterbahn spokeswoman Winter Prosapio said the child died on Sunday afternoon while riding the Verrückt water slide, which is the world's tallest water slide, according to Guinness World Records, at more than 168 feet (51.4 meters) tall. Verrückt means "insane" in German.

Prosapio said the park was closed and would remain closed on Monday. She added that a full investigation would be conducted on the ride.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time," she said in a statement.

The park postponed the 2014 opening of the slide three times to ensure safety. Riders are strapped into a raft that has room for three people and dives 17 stories in a near vertical descent before getting propelled back up five stories by rushing water and plunging a second time to its end.

Riders must be at least 54 inches (137 cm) tall to take the plunge and are weighed to make sure rafts are run with a combined weight of 400 pounds to 550 pounds (181 to 249 kg). The descent takes 15 to 20 seconds.

Further details of the accident were not immediately available.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Alan Crosby and David Gregorio)

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