Switzerland: Firewalk event gone awry leaves 25 burns

People walk on hot coals as they celebrate the so-called Walpurgis Night or Witches' Night in Vilnius May 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Petras Malukas (Photo credit should read PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP via Getty Images)

13 people had to be treated in hospital after an event in Switzerland (Image: AFP)

A firewalking stunt in Switzerland that went badly wrong required 25 people to be treated.

Emergency services were called to a private event near Lake Zurich last night.

Several people had attempted to walk on hot coals, a rite of passage still practiced in various contexts.

According to local police, 13 of those treated had to be hospitalized.

The rest received medical attention on the spot and hobbled away.

It is unclear whether the incident on the Swiss peninsula of Au was part of a religious ceremony or a social event.

Firewalking is often incorporated into charity or corporate events.

It is sometimes used by companies as part of team building activities, including in the UK.

A UK company offering the practice says it “can help with most aspects of team building, motivation, change management or a great stress reliever”.

An investigation into the circumstances of the incident is ongoing.

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Justin Scacco

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