Bay Area water park closes slides after boy spins off chute onto concrete

A water park in the San Francisco Bay Area celebrating its opening day was forced to shut down some water slides after a boy spun off a chute and skidded onto a concrete walkway.

The East Bay suburb of Dublin, 27 miles east of San Francisco, for years had been eagerly anticipating the opening of the $43-million complex known as the Wave at Emerald Glen Park. But on its opening day Saturday, a photographer for the East Bay Times caught on video a boy sliding to the bottom of a three-story slide, then skidding over a side of the chute, feet first, onto a concrete walkway.

The boy spins 180 degrees and lands on his right shoulder. He immediately gets up and walks away.

The East Bay Times reported that the boy, 10, was shaken up and suffered scrapes on his shoulder and back. The newspaper said the ride, which drops at an 80-degree angle, had been operating for only 90 minutes when the accident occurred.

The newspaper said Linda Smith, an assistant city manager, had been standing next to the slide when the boy tumbled off it. “I was worried if he was mentally OK, but physically he just had some scrapes,” Smith told the newspaper.

In a statement Monday, the city of Dublin, which built the water park, said it ordered both the Emerald Plunge slide and its adjacent chute, the Dublin Screamer, closed as officials from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health arrived to investigate what went wrong.

“The investigation into the incident continues and we will share more when we have further information,” the city’s statement said.

On the city’s website, the Emerald Plunge is described as a “speed slide” that offers a view as guests plunge “straight down into the splashdown lane.” Riders are required to be at least 4 feet tall.

Most of the funding to build the water park came from development fees collected by the city over the last decade.

The park has a total of six water slides.

ron.lin@latimes.com

Twitter: @ronlin

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