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Fatal accident at Texas-owned water park raises safety questions

On hot summer days, nothing is more refreshing than an afternoon at a water park. However, a recent fatal accident involving a 10-year-old boy at a water park owned by a Texas-based company has raised questions about the safety of the company's four parks in Texas. The National Safety Council does not seem confident in its assessment of the parks, but the owners insist they are committed to safety.

A string of accidents this summer has brought amusement parks under intense scrutiny. Because there are no federal standards governing the safety of rides or the reporting of incidents in permanent amusement parks, the tracking of injuries is not always reliable. In Texas, the park operator is required to have all rides inspected each year by its own insurance company and to carry a liability policy worth $1 million for each ride. The state government does not inspect any ride, even after an injury has been reported.

The company that owns the water parks reported a total of 62 injuries over the past five years. Some of the injuries were simple cuts and scrapes but others included neck or back pain. A number of those who were injured required trips to hospitals. Some safety advocates dispute these reports, saying the parks may not be reporting accidents properly. Additionally, there is some doubt about the regularity of inspections at the water parks.

While spokespeople for the Texas parks continue to insist that safety is the main priority, the fact remains that a child died in a fatal accident on one of their water amusements. The family must live with the memory of his gruesome injury and the sorrow of having to bury a child so young. It would not be surprising to hear that the parents have contacted an attorney to discuss pursuing a wrongful death claim against the owners of the water park.

Source: keyetv.com, "Child's death at Kansas water park raises concerns about safety of rides in Texas", Walt Maciborski, Aug. 10, 2016

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