Dozens of people suffered burns on their feet after walking across hot coals during a Tony Robbins event in Dallas June 23 (video below).
Five people had to be hospitalized at a local burn center after walking across the coals in a parking lot, which was part of Robbins' "Unleash the Power Within" seminar, notes CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.
About to 30 to 40 people were treated by Dallas Fire-Rescue on a local bus that was converted into a makeshift treatment area.
"Apparently, as part of a motivational event being held at the location, several people attempted to walk across hot coals," Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans stated. "As a result, a large number of these people sustained burn injuries to their feet and lower extremities."
Evans said that up to five additional ambulances and two EMS supervisors were at the scene.
In response to the incident, Robbins Research International said in a 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.
A web page on TonyRobbins.com -- that has apparently been removed -- reportedly described the fire-walking part: "Storm across a bed of hot coals. Once you start doing what you thought was impossible, you’ll conquer the other fires of your life with ease."
Walking across hot coals is not about personal confidence, but rather physics.
Mental Floss notes that people have been doing this activity for thousands of years by dipping their feet in water first and walking briskly across the coals.
The website does not advise people to actually try this, but does explain the physics involved: "Coals may be hot, but they’re terrible at transferring heat. They have a 'low thermal capacity.' That is, it takes them relatively long time to bake a walker. (It’s like sticking your hand in an oven set to 400°F. The air feels hot, but it won’t burn you instantly.) As long as they keep moving, each step will absorb very little heat from the embers."