Ten Hurt In "Horrific Scene" At Clove Lake Park Helicopter Accident
An injured bystander is taken away from the scene of an Osprey helicopter landing that injured ten Monday morning in Staten Island's Clove Lake Park. The intense wind generated by the helicopter's twin rotors destroyed tree limbs, dirt from a nearby baseball field and other debris into a whirlwind that sent spectators scattering and seven people to the hospital. Who approved the use of this machine in a city park? (Photo: Fevelo for The Daily News)
As the Osprey dipped toward the ground at Cloves Lakes Park Preserve, wind whipped up by the helicopter's rotor broke up two mid-sized trees and sent some 30 branches flying, Deputy Fire Chief Roger Sakowich said.
Yolanda Maiurrno, 80, of Staten Island, was thwacked in the ankle by a piece of wood.
"It was a really scary and horrific scene. I'm all shook up right now and I can't stop shaking," she said, gripping an ice pack given to her by medics.
"I came here to have a lovely day," she said of the annual event. "It was between this and the beach, and now I wish I chose the beach."
The MV-22 Bravo Osprey was attempting to land about 9:10 a.m. in the middle of the park's ballfields for an event celebrating 2010 Fleet Week and Memorial Day.
"We came in over the trees. You can't see what's going on underneath them," said Marine Capt. Michael Henson, whose regiment is based in North Carolina. "The next thing we see is a blanket coming up in the air. That means one thing, someone is sitting down below us. The only thing to do was to just keep going."
Helicopters, especially the heavy Osprey helicopter-airplane hybrid used by the Marines, create a lot of wind when landing.
"Anything that's loose is going to get blown around," Henson said.
U.S. Marine Corps officials say an MV-22 Osprey aircraft was landing in Clove Lakes Park around 8 a.m. this morning when its powerful twin engines began kicking up dirt and debris. (Photo: NY1)