Reveler who lept into the flames of blazing effigy in front of 70,000 stunned Burning Man festival-goers has DIED

Daily Mail

A man rescued from the flames at the Burning Man festival’s signature burning of a towering effigy has died after being airlifted to a hospital.

Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen said the man ran through a human-chain of security officers at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday during the Man Burn event at the counter-culture festival.

The sheriff said the man was rescued by firefighters and later died at the UC Davis hospital burn center in California.  

He has been identified as Aaron Joel Mitchell, 41, who grew up in McAlester, Oklahoma, but was living in Switzerland, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

More than 70,000 people are enjoying the art and music celebration in the Black Rock Desert, about 100 miles north of Reno.

The nine-day event culminates with the burning of a towering 40-foot effigy made of wood. Attendees have tried to run into the flames as a symbol of rebirth.

Festival organizers didn’t immediately respond when asked for comment.

The nine-day festival in northern Nevada was briefly hampered when a lightning-sparked wildfire temporarily shut down Burning Man’s main travel route last week.

A Burning Man participant died after evading the attempted tackles of multiple rangers and law enforcement personnel to run into the flames of the 'Man Burn' on Saturday night

He had to dodge a number of rangers and law enforcement personnel in order to reach the fire, which stretches approximately 50 feet into the air.  

Festival organizers earlier issued a statement through its website to say that at ‘approximately 10.30pm Saturday evening, a male participant at the annual Burning Man event in Northern Nevada broke through a safety perimeter and into into a fire. Black Rock City fire personnel rescued him from the fire.’ 

‘The individual was treated on scene, transported to the on-site medical facility and airlifted to a burn center’.

Officials issued an update late on Sunday to confirm that he had later passed away. 

During the fiery destruction of the 50-foot-tall man, thousands of participants danced and partied at the annual event, which is held two hours north of Reno on an ancient dry lake bed.

Saturday marked the height of the art and music festival celebration, where Burners had gathered to witness the lighting of the symbolic ritual burning of the huge wooden effigy.

Prior to the burn, The Man towered over the temporary city for a week. The event on Saturday night is traditionally rowdy while the event Sunday night is the subdued burning of the Temple.

The Temple is another wooden structure that has been stuffed with notes, memories and remembrances from festival goers throughout the week. It will also be burned Sunday evening.

This year’s festival theme is Radical Ritual, with organizers inviting participants to celebrate ‘the ambiguous ground that lies between reverence and ridicule, faith and belief, the absurd and the stunningly sublime,’ according to the official Burning Man website.

Dozens of art installations were constructed before the end of the weekend, some made from wire, others as patterns on the ground and some as immersive experiences.

Stunning photographs show the larger-than-life art installations that are the focal points of this year’s festival theme of Radical Ritual, which is to honor rituals that humankind has made, including the festival.

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