This Thursday at a Tony Robbins seminar in Dallas, Texas, dozens of people were burned after attempting to do the infamous “fire walk” – an exercise where people walk over hot coals in an effort to overcome their fears.
According to CBS DFW, Ambulances were lined up outside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center just after 11 p.m, taking those who were more seriously injured to the Parkland Hospital Burn Center.
Robbins hasn’t commented on the incident publicly, but his organization (Robins Research International) released the following statement:
“In Dallas tonight, someone not familiar with the fire walk observed the event and called 911 erroneously reporting hundreds of people requiring medical attention for severe burns. While we are grateful to the quick and robust response from Dallas emergency services, only 5 of 7,000 participants requested any examination beyond what was readily available on site. We are pleased to have completed another successful fire walk for 7,000 guests and look forward to the remainder of an outstanding weekend with them.”
Some people were injured when they stopped to take selfies mid-fire walk.
“From my observation, there was someone in front of us and someone behind us on their cell phone, taking selfies and taking pictures,” Jacqueline Luxembe said to WFAA. “[She asked others] to video record for her, so I think that that has a lot to do with it.”
Robbins’ “Unleashing the Power Within” conference is in Dallas for three-and-a-half days. On his website tonyrobbins.com, the schedule details the “Turn Fear Into Power” portion of the event and speaks about overcoming one’s own personal fears.
“Storm across a bed of hot coals,” the website says. “Once you start doing what you thought was impossible, you’ll conquer the other fires of your life with ease.”
From Herman Mehta at Patheos:
But fire-walking is just an illusion. You’re not actually walking over fire. You’re walking over the remnants of a fire — hot coals that are now covered with ash to insulate you from the dangerous heat. If the pits look red (which happens at night, when these events take place), it’s only because you’re looking at the dying remains of a fire, not one that’s still raging on. To make the activity even safer, you’re supposed to dip your feet in water first (to provide more insulation). You should walk quickly over the coals without stopping — because, just like with sand on a beach, running over the coals might actually sink your feet deeper into the pit, closer to where everything is much hotter, and staying still is like touching a warm stove and keeping your hand right there.
A countless number of people have done the fire-walking challenge successfully at Robbins’ events — completely oblivious as to why the feat isn’t nearly as impressive as he makes it out to be. It’s a lot like lying on a bed of nails. Once you understand the physics of it, it’s no longer a magic trick.
At another Robbins seminar in 2012, 21 people were injured while doing the fire walk.
Watch CBS DFW‘s report on the story below: