Firewalking—stepping across hot coals—is a classic stunt popular among magicians, motivational speakers, and in some religious rituals and cheesy teambuilding programs. The secret is that the layer of embers on top of the red hot coals don't conduct heat very well, so as long as you walk briskly, you don't get burned. (Watch the MythBusters clip below for more on the science behind the feat.) But if you don't do it correctly, problems arise, as in the case of the two dozen people in Switzerland whose feet were burned last night after their teambuilding exercise went south. Thirteen of the participants were taken to the hospital for severe injuries. From the BBC:
It is not yet clear if there was an issue with the set-up of the coals or with how the group walked across them.
Officials have opened an investigation and taken evidence from the site, which is in the Au peninsular just south of the city of Zurich.