Anna Codrea-Rado | Contributing Writer | Monday, 4 September 2017

Man Dies After Running Into Fire At Burning Man Festival

Man Dies After Running Into Fire At Burning Man Festival

The Debrief: 41-year-old Aaron Mitchell died at the annual festival in Nevada this weekend.

A 41-year-old man has died after running into a blazing fire at the annual Burning Man festival in the US over the weekend.  

Aaron Mitchell was attending the annual festival in the Black Rock desert in the western state of Nevada, known for its pop-up art installations and burning effigies. It was at the 'Man' burn event on Saturday night that authorities said Mitchell, a US citizen living in Switzerland, broke through a security perimeter and ran into the flames. 

Police said that Mitchell ran through two sets of security guards to get to the fire. Fire crews were not able to get to him immediately because there was burning wood falling off the structure, they had to wait until it had collapsed before attending to Mitchell. 

Mitchell was then airlifted to the nearest burn centre, which was in the neighbouring state of California where he was pronounced dead on Sunday morning. 

According to medical staff, Mitchell was not under the influence of alcohol and a full toxicology report is under way. 

Burning Man festival organisers said in a statement that counselling services are available to anyone affected by the incident. 

'Our hearts and prayers go out to Aaron's family during this unexpected tragedy,' local sheriff Jerry Allen said in a statement. '[This is a tragedy] for juveniles who are allowed to attend the festival and may not have the same coping skills as adults do when they see something this tragic happen before their eyes.'

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Tags: Festivals, USA