2 students injured trying to touch Paul Bunyan’s Axe

by Patricia Drey

First-aid personnel treated two University students who were injured when a rail collapsed at the Metrodome following Saturday’s football game, said Scott Ellison, assistant athletics director for facilities and event management.

After the game against the University of Wisconsin-Madison, fans crowded the rail, trying to touch Paul Bunyan’s Axe.

One student had a cut hand and the other a possible knee injury, Ellison said.

The rail was clamped in place, but the clamp gave way when fans tried to touch the ax, Ellison said.

Although Ellison did not know if a maintenance check could have prevented the rail’s failure, he said he would recommend that the Metrodome’s maintenance staff check the temporary railings before each home game next year to make sure they are secure and tight.

The ax is the trophy given to the winner of the game between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota each year.