Power restored at State Fair after accident

Sitting in the dark
Brothers Brian (right) and Trevor Loebertmann relax in the darkness of the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand during a power outage on the fairgrounds. Their father thought the temporarily out-of-commission building would be good place to get a break from the summer sun.
MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel

Crews have restored power to the Minnesota State Fair, after a minor traffic accident knocked out power to part of the fairgrounds and sent two people to the hospital.

A semi trailer truck accidentally clipped a power pole at the intersection of Como and Winston avenues, south of the fairgrounds, at 10:40 a.m. Tuesday, police said.

One of the falling power lines struck a man who was in a chair directing cars into a private parking lot. Another man suffered injuries when the power line hit his shoulder.

St. Paul police spokesman Andy Skoogman said that a police officer witnessed the incident and intervened quickly.

"[The officer] ran up to the man as the power line was draped over him, and our officer kicked the lawn chair out from underneath the man, got the man out of the chair, dragged him away from the power line," he said.

One person suffered serious electrical burns, and another suffered less serious burns, said Steve Zaccard, St. Paul's fire marshal. They are being treated at Region's Hospital.

"I've been told that both are doing very well," Skoogman said.

Police identified them as 26-year-old Brady Evan Berger, of Le Sueur, who was treated and released; and 32-year-old Spencer Jackson, of St. Paul, who remained hospitalized Tuesday night.

The outage downed power to the livestock complex, Adventure Park, and Carousel Park. Schuette said that no one was on any of the Adventure Park rides when the power went out.

Xcel Energy crews restored power to the Fair at about 2:15 p.m. Over 370 businesses and homes outside the fairgrounds also temporarily lost power.

(MPR reporters Tim Nelson and Dan Olson contributed to this report.)

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