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Man badly burned after climbing utility pole in Dinkytown

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An instructor at an indoor climbing facility attempted to reach the top of a utility pole in Dinkytown early Wednesday morning but ended up in the hospital instead.

Minneapolis police told the Star Tribune that 24-year-old Steven C. McKinney of Plymouth was climbing the electrical pole near the intersection of 14th Ave. SE and SE 7th St. around 1:30 a.m. when he was shocked by live wires and fell several feet to the ground.

WCCO said McKinney was with a friend at the time of the incident.

A witness who lived nearby said McKinney had caught fire and was bleeding from the mouth.

The man's mother, June McKinney, said her son suffered burns on over 30 percent of his body. He's in critical condition at the Hennepin County Medical Center.

June McKinney told the newspaper that her son has been climbing since he was 6 years old and even won a competition in high school, but has not been known to attempt climbs in urban settings.

For the past six months, Steven McKinney was working as a climbing instructor at Vertical Endeavors in south Minneapolis, the newspaper reported.

The incident caused a transformer to blow up which lead some power outages. Xcel Energy fully restored electricity in the area a short time later, according to FOX 9.

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