Delray Beach, Florida – A pep rally celebrated on Thursday at Atlantic High School went wrong when a man who was hired to slam-dunk a basketball over flames caught fire in front of hundreds of students.
To celebrate Spirit Week and the beginning of spring break, Atlantic High School organized Thursday’s pep rally. About 2,000 people attended the event. Students were sitting in the gymnasium’s stands during the incident. Administrators were on the floor and tried to dunk baskets when students answered some question.
As part of the event, the school hired Inferno’s Challenge, a Pembroke Pines Company. The Company offers a stunt performance in which a man performs dunks with on-fire basketballs.
During the performance, the device that created flames through which the balls were dunked misfired, and burned the man’s face and spread to the floor of the room.
Danny Lahav, a senior from Atlantic high school who eyewitnessed the incident said that for a final dunk, one of the performers was set to jump over flames. That’s when the man caught fire.
A video posted online shows the man suddenly being engulfed in flames. He scrambles to the floor and others come to his aid as the video ends.
Delray Beach Fire Rescue Capt. Ed Beardsley said the man was rushed to the hospital with burns. Beardsley did not know their severity.
“It’s not unusual for events like this to happen, to have somebody come in like this, that’s something we have to look at.” Kathy Burstein, spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County School District said.
20 injured after pep rally accident
At least 20 students were treated for injuries after the incident according to the local fire department. Eight other people, seven of them students, were hospitalized after breathing fire extinguisher dust.
Parents of students who were injured were informed, and classes resumed at the school. School district police are investigating the accident.
Source: NBC News