Frozen waterfall in Minneapolis shatters, breaks on woman

Minnehaha Falls is a 53-foot (16 meter) waterfall located in Minneapolis in Minnehaha Park on Minnehaha Creek, a tributary of the Mississippi River located in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The Falls are located near the creek's confluence with the Mississippi River, not far from Fort Snelling, Minnesota. | Wikimedia Commons/Raggedkompany

Local authorities are intensifying their efforts to patrol around the Minnehaha Falls after a woman was injured by falling ice on Sunday.

Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) spokesperson Robin Smothers told reporters that a 20-year-old woman was walking behind the falls, a restricted area, at around 3:30 p.m. when part of the frozen falls shattered and a sheet of ice fell on her head. She was rushed to a nearby hospital to get treatment for non-life threatening injuries on the arm and wrist.

A video of the incident was captured and is making the rounds on the Internet.

Every winter, extremely low temperatures cause the Minnehaha Falls to transform into an eye-catching tundra. Tourists and locals flock to the area to snap photos.

The MPRB has designated two areas where people can safely and legally view the falls: the footbridge situated above the falls and the pavilion area by Sea Salt restaurant.

However, it's not uncommon that people ignore the "no trespassing" signs around the area or climb over ice-covered pathways to get close to the falls or reach the area behind the falls, which is off-limits to visitors. During the weekend alone, Smothers said that park police issued a total of 135 warnings to trespassers.

"This has been going on for decades," said Smothers told Global News, adding, "People are going to the falls, going behind the falls, but with social media it causes more and more people to take pictures, selfies of themselves and their friends."

A quick check on Instagram confirms Smother's claim. Looking at what people have posted, a person planning a visit to the park would think they may be able to get close to the falls or explore the area behind it.

Park authorities are intensifying their efforts to patrol around the falls to deter trespassers and avoid similar incidents moving forward.