By John S. Marshall, AP
SAN FRANCISCO — Fire officials said 21 people at an event hosted by motivational speaker Tony Robbins suffered burns while walking across hot coals and three of the injured were treated at hospitals.
The injuries took place during the first day Thursday of a four-day event at the San Jose Convention Center hosted by Robbins called “Unleash the Power Within.” Most of those hurt had second and third degree burns, said San Jose Fire Department Capt. Reggie Williams.
Walking across hot coals on lanes measuring 10 feet (three meters) long and heated to between 1,200 to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit provides attendees an opportunity to “understand that there is absolutely nothing you can’t overcome,” according to the motivational speaker’s website.
Robbins Research International said in a written statement that 6,000 attendees of the event walked across the coals Thursday.
Requests for additional information from The Associated Press were not immediately returned.
Organizers had an “open burn permit” and medical staff at the event, and there was also a fire inspector on the scene, Williams said.
“Once they (the medical staff) became overwhelmed, our inspector called for us,” Williams said.
Witness Jonathan Correll was not attending the event, but when he saw a large crowd gathered on a closed-off surface street near the convention center, he got off the light rail he was riding to see what was going on.