A man has died after running into flames at the Burning Man festival in the US.
Aaron Joel Mitchell, 41, broke through a two-layer security fence as the wooden effigy was set alight marking the end of the event in the Nevada desert.
Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen told media Aaron Joel Mitchell broke through a human chain security cordon and ran directly into the blaze at around 10.30pm local time, as other festival attendees watched on.
“We don’t know if it was intentional on his part or if it was just kind of induced by drugs. We’re not sure of that yet,” Allen said.
‘”Doctors confirmed Mitchell wasn’t under the influence of alcohol but that a toxicology report is pending as part of the investigation,” Fox9 News says.
Mitchell was eventually pulled out by firefighters, who were forced to abandon early efforts to reach him as parts of the burning effigy began to fall around them.
The man was airlifted from the scene to the UC Davis hospital burn centre in California, where he later died from his injuries.
Around 70,000 people are attending music and arts festival, “which culminates with the burning of a towering 40ft-effigy made of wood. Attendees have tried to run into the flames as a symbol of rebirth,” The Guardian says.
“We’re aware this incident has affected not only those who responded immediately on the scene, but also those who witnessed it, and our Black Rock City community more broadly,” organisers said in a statement, adding: “We are working to make resources available to those affected.”