Spectator powers up helicopter at Minnesota Air Spectacular, injuring 2

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Two people were injured when a member of the public powered up a Mayo Clinic helicopter at the Minnesota Air Spectacular in Mankato Saturday afternoon.

The helicopter's team quickly shut the aircraft down, but two people suffered minor injuries when a nearby shade tipped over, the Mayo Clinic told BringMeTheNews in a statement Monday.

“I was sitting near the helicopter when the blades started to turn and I wondered what was going on,” Dave Kruse, who attended the air show, told the Mankato Times. “A tent near the tail of the helicopter tipped over before someone turned it off."

Agro Gushwa, a ticket taker at the show, spoke with the Star Tribune, saying "This kid started it up, and the propeller started spinning." He estimates the boy was about 6 years old. Gushwa also posted video of the incident to YouTube, but it has since been deleted.

The aircraft was removed from service for inspection and maintenance, the Mayo Clinic said in a statement. The statement continued:

"The safety of our patients, our team members and the general public is Mayo Clinic's highest priority. Mayo Clinic is conducting a thorough review and has proactively reported the incident to the Federal Aviation Administration."

Mark Knoff, the director of the Minnesota Air Spectacular, called this an "unfortunate incident" in a statement released to BringMeTheNews Monday.

The Mayo Clinic and the Minnesota Air Spectacular have not commented on the age of the person who started up the helicopter.

Despite the incident Saturday afternoon, officials told the Mankato Free Press that the air show was a success and there were no major security incidents Sunday.

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