Missouri waterslide injury highlights lax regulation

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A safety inspection of a new Six Flags St. Louis waterslide was not conducted by government officials before a woman said she suffered whiplash on the side.

Officials say it’s no surprise the slide didn’t have to pass a government safety review, even though an estimated 80 million people flock to about 1,000 water parks in the U.S. every year.

The “Typhoon Twister” in Eureka, southwest of St. Louis, is exempt from a Missouri law regulating amusement rides passed in 2004.

Representatives of other water parks around the state said they also operate with little to no state oversight.

Sondra Thornhill says she was injured last month after the Typhoon Twister flung her into the air. A Six Flags spokeswoman says the ride is temporarily closed.

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