Spectators desperately doused flames on three teenagers when a dangerous cycling stunt went spectacularly wrong near Adelaide, Australia, yesterday. The two boys and a girl, all believed to be aged 15, suffered burns when performing the "jump through fire" stunt at Findon Skid Kids on Reserve Parade at about 4.30pm.
They caught fire when the flaming cardboard they jumped through failed to break up as planned and instead stuck to the riders. Spectators used blankets to douse the flames on the riders' protective clothing. St John Ambulance crews treated the riders before SA Ambulance crews arrived and took the trio to the Women's and Children's Hospital where they were treated.
Findon Skid Kids president Mick Harley said the stunt went wrong because it was incorrectly set up. "We've been doing the fire jump for 55 years and every so often, somebody might get some burns," he said. "The cardboard is normally in two sheets joined at the middle so it breaks when they hit it. They used cardboard that was a full sheet so it wasn't cut.
"On this particular occasion they took the cardboard with them and that's how they got burnt." The riders were wearing protective clothing including overalls, goggles, helmets and balaclavas. "They are pretty well protected. It's just in this instance they took the fire with them and the heat has got to them," Mr Harley added.