DOWNWASH: Ten Injured In Staten Island Fleet Week Helicopter Demonstration

Ten people were injured yesterday when a USMC Osprey helicopter landed in a Staten Island park, sending tree branches and debris rocketing into the waiting crowd.

A family-friendly Fleet Week demo took a horrible turn Monday when a $70 million Osprey sent folks ducking for cover. Screaming onlookers ran for their lives when the two-prop warbird, which flies like a plane and lands like a helicopter, turned broken tree limbs in a Staten Island park into dangerous projectiles. At least 10 people in the crowd of several hundred in Clove Lakes Park Preserve were injured with cuts, bruises and scrapes, and now city officials are asking whether organizers took the proper safety precautions. “It was a really scary and horrific scene. I’m all shook up right now and I can’t stop shaking,” said Yolanda Maiurrno, 80, of Staten Island, whose ankle was thwacked by a piece of wood. It looked like “two tornadoes,” said Keith Carlsen, 46, of Staten Island. “The trees were bending and then branches broke.” Air Force vet John Wilson, 72, was sent flying some 30 feet. “I closed my eyes and turned away and the air pressure hit me and had me rolling,” said the Richmond Town resident after being treated for cuts on his head.