BREAKING: Man Burns When Man Burns [Updates]

[Update 9/5/17 0:45am PST]

There’s a Reddit thread with more eyewtiness accounts.

He had a history of trying to self-harm while on psychedelics (allegedly: friend of a friend saying)

[Source: Reddit]

[Update 9/4/17 11:43pm PST]

There was a chain-link fence surrounding the Temple when they burned it on Sunday night. The new normal?

From the RGJ:

More than 600 volunteers and staff ringed the perimeter of the Temple, backed up by a hastily installed metal security fence. The fence and additional security were new conditions sought by the federal land manager, said Burning Man co-founder Crimson Rose. 

 

…Rose said federal Bureau of Land Management officials wanted Burning Man to call off the Temple burn, the ceremonial finish to the weeklong festival of 70,000 people in the Nevada desert. She said the government wanted 350 extra security guards. Burning Man found nearly double that number.

 

“We are showing the government we can step forward,” Rose said as she joined with other perimeter guards. “It is a testament to our spirit. We have a ritual to complete”

 

[Source]

The show must go on, says the High Priestess. It’s a Radical Ritual of death and rebirth, so why let more death stop it?

An eyewitness account from a friend of Christina Duncan was posted on the official Burning Man Facebook page

Saturday of Burning Man, everyone in our group was pretty fed up with the desert and ready to be home with our families and pets. Then we went to the burn. We spun conclave in the middle of the great circle, looking out at the sea of people and art cars with their neon lights and bumping music. It was a rush unlike any other. Afterward we settled in to watch The Man go up in flames. We cheered as the biggest effigy to date produced an impressive fire works show and serious explosions. Laughing and joking, all of us talked about how we had earlier been ready to leave but after performing and watching The Man burn, maybe we ought to discuss coming next year after all. Then suddenly people were yelling. A man was barreling through the crowd right toward our fire group. Nick was on his feet and running after the guy, the perimeter people called at him to sit down so he pulled a baseball slide and tried to trip the runner, barely missing. The guy darted at the perimeter, a relatively tall man looking very in shape, he dodged the sandmen rushing him with incredible speed and agility. He was determined and bigger and faster than anyone chasing him. As he bolted to the fire, I kept thinking he wasn’t really going to make it. No way. But then he was running into the fire, the sandmen couldn’t follow him any more. The fire was hot as hell from where we were sitting so I can’t imagine being that close to it. He ran back out of the fire, circled back a bit and ran right into the middle and laid down (or tripped backward maybe). None of the firemen could go after him until a piece of the effigy fell, then they rushed into the fire and pulled him out and loaded him into an ambulance. I can’t even describe the emotions. I was crying, gasping for breath, saying “Oh my god, please no” over and over again, feeling a panic attack clenching my throat in a steel grip. We didn’t want to look but we couldn’t stop watching. I saw my friends crying as well, shoulders shaking, hands covering their faces, partners trying to comfort their loved ones while barely keep it together themselves. I couldn’t take it anymore. We asked the perimeter guards if we could leave and they graciously let us stand up and rush away. Nobody got to run around the fire that night. Instead we muscled our way through the crowd, sometimes hearing people ask if someone had run through the fire as we rushed out sobbing. Most people were too far back to know what happened and were partying and having the time of their lives. It was so disturbing to have just witnessed someone lay down in a massive fire then leave to see that the world went on like nothing had happened. Once back at camp, we had lengthy discussions about the happening. We wondered what the guy had taken, he was obviously neck deep in some sort of intense psychedelic experience. We wondered if he was already suicidal and chose that moment to end his human contract or if he was just so fucked up that he actually thought he could do it and live, driven by feelings of godliness. There was a lot of anger. If the man was suicidal, why did he have to do that to us? Was it necessary to imprint that horrifying scene into our minds for our entire lives? We expressed how lucky we were to have our tribe, to be confident that if one of us ever reached that point we would for sure wrestle the person to the cops or a med station even if it meant clubbing then upside the head and tying them up. Because really, who the fuck are this guy’s friends? Then there is the perimeter itself. It’s weak. The sandmen are spaced too far apart and aren’t big enough and strong enough to take on all types of potential runners. I know burners are about handling business themselves but damn, hire a trained security team of big beef cake meatheads in top notch health. It has happened before, multiple people run every year, some have even made it. And what about telling the crowd not to help? I get it to some extent, but several people in our group could have tackled that guy and restrained him until help arrived momentarily. Or at least slowed him enough for the sandmen to get into position to catch him. Maybe we are somewhat in the wrong for not trying anyway. A man’s life was on the line and everyone followed orders instead of doing the right thing. Why were the sandmen chasing him in circles instead of blocking the fire and creating a barrier? By doing that, they left the fire wide open for him to run into. This man tried THREE times to break perimeter. Three. Why aren’t people who do that escorted to safety and monitored and maybe even banned from burns in general? Now I am not blaming any one person directly. Someone that sets that sort of intention and makes such a decision is clearly at fault for the consequences of their actions. However, could the safety precautions being modified and strengthened? Ab-so-fucking-lutely. And they should be. Not only for the mentally unstable runners, but for the sake of the thousands of witnesses who are traumatized by such an event. Nobody go burnier than thou on me and defend Burning Man, especially if you didn’t see what we were forced to see. These sorts of events bring an already misunderstood event like Burning Man under the microscope scrutiny of police and government organizations who already disagree with people who live as freely as burners do together. What could possibly be more important than protecting the sacred oasis that is Burning Man and regionals, the only places that so many of us feel safe being who we truly are? I’m trying to sort through this. I don’t want to be dwelling on this and circling around it, talking about it, reading articles and looking at pictures of the guy of Aaron Mitchell and wondering what he was like and what made him snap but I am and it just won’t stop. I saw some of the most amazing art in the world, danced at incredible sound stages with fire sculptures breathing flames and towering speaker stacks throwing bass across the the playa. I got to see what can happen when creative people want to build something amazing to uplift those in their burn community, when people just want to make others happy and taken care of while encouraging them to become more self reliant. The Ten Principles really are the guidelines for building a truly free and sustainable community, I really believe that. I am in awe always over the potential and motivation of true burners. But…just to the forefront of all that wonder and magic is Aaron Mitchell, laying down in unfathomably hot blaze, the man who probably just took too strong of drugs and thought he could survive fire, the stranger who died and left a scar on our hearts forever. Honestly, that is burn life. It won’t always be fun, sometimes it’s incredibly hard and you’re forced to evaluate parts of the human experience that aren’t comfortable and it happens in between the moments of love and elation and connection that we all crave. I’m learning from this, I’m growing as a person and am reminded of how incredibly lucky I am to be alive and deeply loved. Thanks for reading. Hug your loved ones. If you need help, don’t be afraid to seek it out. If you think someone needs help, reach out and offer them some. I will abuse the cliche again and say that we truly have to be the change we wish to see in the world.

 

All my love.

 

[Source: Facebook]

[Update 9/4/17 9:27pm PST]

There’s video. WARNING. This is intense. The Man had burned but the Temple of The Man was still standing.

[Update 9/12/17 11:26am PST]

A lot of censorship is being generated around this post. Thomson-Reuters gave me a takedown request for the photos, which we complied with, but that wasn’t good enough. They also objected to the screenshot of the Drudge Report headlines which incorporated one of their images. How far does this go: embedding a YouTube video, which may contain some of their photos? Linking to a Facebook discussion where somebody else posted the photos? At what point does non-profit, educational Fair Use become a consideration to MainStream Media #fakenews conglomerates? Remember, these are the people who brought us the 9/11 conspiracy and WMDs in Iraq, while profiting enormously. One wonders why free blog sites about Burning Man are so important to them.

We have shown already some of the Org’s attempts to shut down any discussion of this incident on social media, which has been backed by what appears to be co-ordinated troll attacks. Looks like there is an effort to take down all the related videos too. It would be nice to think they were doing this to prevent copycats and further sacrifices, but I suspect there are other motivations at work.

 

[Update 9/3/17 2:36pm PST] The man has been named as (Aaron) Joel Mitchell, 41

 

 

 


In a scene reminiscent of 2014’s tragic suicide at the Element11 regional in Utah, a man has run straight into the fire after the main event of Burning Man.

From the Las Vegas Review Journal:

About 10:30 p.m. Saturday, the man broke through safety perimeters at the Northern Nevada festival and ran straight into a fire, Burning Man officials said in a statement. Black Rock City firefighters entered the flames to rescue the festival-goer.

 

The man was treated on the scene before being transported to an on-site medical facility, officials said. He was later airlifted to a burn treatment center…

 

The man’s condition as of Sunday morning was unknown.

 

[Source]

Here’s the official statement from BMorg:

At approximately 10:30 p.m. Saturday evening, a male participant at the annual Burning Man event in Northern Nevada broke through a safety perimeter and ran into a fire. Black Rock City fire personnel rescued him from the fire.

 

The individual was treated on scene, transported to the on-site medical facility and airlifted to a burn treatment center.

 

We will share more information as it becomes available.

There has now been confirmation that the man is dead, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones. In 2005, a man intentionally ran into the fire and survived. He went on to try to sue Burning Man for his stupidity, unsuccessfully.

As well as the 2014 Utah fire death, there were deaths by drowning at Regional events at Transformus 2015 (North Carolina) and Lakes of Fire 2016 (Michigan).

One of the Honorarium art installations this year was “The Pyramid of the Dead”   dedicated to celebrating death: “Death is a part of life as much as life is a part of Death, and we invite you to celebrate this relationship with us”

A couple of days ago RT ran a story “Beware of Fire: Deaths at Burning Man”. There seem to be far more deaths at this event than any other festival, including much larger ones. Of course, it’s just a coincidence that it’s an occult ritual burning a wooden effigy inside a pentagram celebrating death and rebirth, surrounded by Pyramids and Temples for the Dead, lit from a fire kept burning in a magic soul-cooking cauldron called El Diabla. There are many other large scale public occult rituals that go on without such deaths…oh wait. Sorry, my mistake. There are no other such rituals.

[Images from YourEDM removed at the request of Thomson Reuters]

[Update 3/9/17 5:44pm PST]

Some links to counseling information from BMorg. Many Burners are seriously traumatized about witnessing such an horrific event during the peak moment of the party:

Emotional support teams have been made available to participants and staff. For people on playa, the Zendo Project is providing peer counseling at their space at 5:15 & A. Support staff from our Emergency Services Department’s Crisis Intervention Team are stationed at 3:00 & C, 9:00 & C, and 5:30 & Esplanade. Please seek them out.

 

If you are not on playa and are feeling the need to talk to someone, don’t wait. You can reach 24/7 crisis and suicide hotlines at 1-800-273-8255 or 775-784-8090. You can also text LISTEN to 839863.

 

Now is a time for closeness, contact and community. Trauma needs processing. Promote calls, hugs, self-care, check-ins, and sleep. We have found this article helpful for understanding how trauma affects us: “A New Normal: Ten Things I’ve Learned About Trauma”.

 

[Source]

Some eyewitness accounts have shown up already on social media:

Screenshot 2017-09-04 12.38.01

Screenshot 2017-09-04 12.47.07

Source: Official Burning Man Facebook Page

The official Burning Man Facebook group is censoring reports and photos of the tragedy:

Screenshot 2017-09-04 12.43.35

There were originally comments on the BMorg official posting, these have been disabled too.

More as it comes in. BMorg said the Temple burn will continue as scheduled tonight…the show must go on.

[Update 9/3/17 6:23pm PST]

The Reno Gazette-Journal has more information about Joel Mitchell:

Update 4:45 p.m. Sunday: The mother of Aaron Joel Mitchell confirmed that her son was the man who died after running into flames at Burning Man on Saturday night…

 

Joel grew up in McAlester, Oklahoma but was living in Switzerland. 

 

“He’s 41, but they are always your baby,” said Johnnye Mitchell. “He was loving and a nice person…Joel liked hiking and outdoors, running.”

 

Mitchell said she saw her son on Aug. 1 before he headed to Oregon to go to an Eclipse festival.  She knew he was planning to go to Burning Man with friends and it was his first time to the annual festival. 

 

She said he is married but does not have any children. His wife is from Switzerland. He was working in construction.

 

“He was in great spirits when we saw him…We are just in shock, total shock,” she said. “We can’t believe this happened.”

 

…The Burning Man organization canceled scheduled burns through noon Sunday but will proceed with the scheduled Temple burn at 8 p.m.

 

[Source]

 

There is an investigation into his death. So far it is not known where he was camping.

 

 [Update 9/3/17 7:44pm PST]

The RGJ has some further details from the Sheriff:

The Pershing County Sheriff said Sunday night that the initial rescue efforts were hampered due to a portion of “the Man” falling at the time rescuers were attempting to retrieve Mitchell from the debris. 

 

“Rescuers had to leave him to allow the structure to fall and provide for rescuer safety before they could go back into the flames to extract Aaron from the debris,”…

 

It remains unclear whether Mitchell was trying to run into the fire or tripped and fell into it while trying to avoid security staff

 

One safety ranger who witnessed the incident teared up as she told her campmates early Sunday morning how she tried but failed to stop the man. 

 

Rangers who work the event are told in advance to look out for three kinds of people likely to rush toward the fire: people trying to get attention, people who are on drugs or intoxicated and don’t understand the danger, and the suicidal

 

Photo: Reno Gazette Journal

 

 

[Source: Reno Gazette Journal]

 

Joel was airlifted to the UC Davis Medical Center specialist burn unit, where he was pronounced dead

Some of the MSM coverage of the tragedy:

CNN

 

SFGate

 

The Guardian

 

The Sun

 

The Daily Mail

 

New York Post

 

Vulture

 

VICE

YouTube videos are starting to be made.

Hooligans Attack! White Ocean Sabotaged, Camp Collapses

2016 white ocean lineup

It seems the Occupy Burning Man Class War long promoted on eplaya.burningman.com (while being simultaneously dismissed as irrelevant at the BJ) has finally come to fruition.

White Ocean was sabotaged by hooligans, who trashed their camp and glued doors shut on their trailers. Rather than sympathy from the Org, they were told they deserved it.

Screenshot 2016-09-02 14.25.33

Some Burners might laugh at this, thinking it’s a throwback to the glory hole days of the Cacophony Society, but it’s not cool. This is way more than a prank. Pranks should be funny. Like this:

zos billboard

It goes against the whole point of Burning Man, which is radical inclusion. The vandals are MOOPing all over the Playa, “in the name of the Ten Principles!” What dicks. Not to mention that it might not be the smartest thing to mess with these people.

White Ocean put on a huge stage, bring some of the best musical talent in the world, give it away for free – so they deserve to be punished by Burnier-Than-Thous? For what, not gifting enough? Having people in their camp from other countries? First Camp is where people should be protesting.

The result of this attack is more likely to be “raise prices further so poor people can’t come”, rather than “all the rich people will now leave”. Camps will now be forced to have security staff, velvet ropes, members-only areas, all the things the vandals presumably hate. Generators will be closely guarded, strangers will be looked at with suspicion.

Sadly, this is symptomatic of the huge rift in the community caused by the BMorg 2.0 attitude, as exemplified by the “Man upside down” theme of this year. The message from Larry Harvey on the official Burning Man blog is that art comes from rich people sponsoring poor artists, instead of a communal effort by all of us where anyone can be an artist so everybody’s got to try.

These days, some people have $190 tickets and others have $1300 tickets. Burners don’t think “that’s so awesome that they paid more for tickets, they’re funding art” – because the extra money quite clearly is not funding more art. Instead many think “most of my friends couldn’t get tickets and these sparkle ponies don’t even care about our values or appreciate how  lucky they are to be here”.

Instead of Da Vinci tickets funding more art, the annual Art Grants budget was adjusted to include the Man, Man base, and Temple, as well as grants to Burner artists. Of course, all the same old names who’ve been getting grants for decades get rewarded each year, whether they need the money or not.

What about Vehicle Passes? Did this money go to art? Vehicles? To making Burning Man or the world a  better place? Or did it go to flying the 100+ full time, year-round Org staff around the world to a bunch of festivals on recon for Fest300 while courting wealthy patrons to finance off-Playa real estate deals?

Screenshot 2016-09-02 15.19.30

When vehicle passes came out, we were told it was for the environment and improving local roads. Were the roads any better this year? All we have heard about is Police stings at the Gerlach crosswalk.

Perhaps related to this attack, or perhaps a total coincidence, but a structure in an unnamed camp collapsed, injuring 6 people. 1 had to be airlifted out, BMOrg aren’t saying where. From SFist:

A Burning Man theme camp collapsed earlier this week, injuring six and requiring that one festival attendee be airlifted out of the desert for medical treatment. The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that this all went down Monday, and that festival organizers are keeping a tight lid on the details.

According to the paper, the structure was part of a theme camp — not one of the giant art projects that cover the Playa — but officials are not saying at this time which camp. Five of the injured six, whose names have not been released, were treated by medical personnel onsite and one needed x-rays from medical contractor CrowdRx. The sixth was sent elsewhere for treatment, although Burning Man spokesman Jim Graham did not confirm to the paper to where or for what injuries.

We can safely assume, however, that Paris Hilton was not one of the injured as she was still Instagraming away as of yesterday.

The 70,000-person festival is no stranger to accidents, and has serious medical care facilities on site as a safety measure. And while most years are free of accidental deaths, it was just two years ago that a woman died after she was tragically run over by a bus.

The collapsed structure was officially closed off Tuesday morning, and we assume the five injured and released attendees are, at present, dancing to some deep house.

[Source]

Meanwhile, back in SF, the Chronicle reports that the 3% drop in city population due to Burning Man has been quickly filled up with tourists. Probably taking advantage of the glut of week-long AirBnB rentals.

 

BRB: A History of Deaths

The Black Rock Beacon has published this history:

Compiled by Mitch, Rockstar and Brandon

Before this year, there were at least six deaths in Black Rock City. An additional number of Burners passed away after being evacuated.

The known deaths, reported by the Black Rock Beacon and other media or the Burning Man organization:

  • 2011 – Erika Kupfersberger, cerebral hemorrhage.
  • 2007 – Jermaine “Jerm” Barley, suicide by hanging.
  • 2006 – Adam Goldstone, a DJ with a known heart condition, died in RV after fainting.
  • 2005 – Sam Rich, a member of the fire-dancing group Controlled Burn, heart attack. Rich had sustained a head injury for which he was given stitches on Wednesday, the day before he died.
  • 2003 – Katherine Lampman, run over by art car she was exiting.
  • 2001 – A participant chose to run into a fire, according to the Afterburn probably the burning of Amazing Larry’s Lucky Seven Ages, the casino built into two large dice in the Deep Playa.

Among other event-related fatalities, an unidentified 52-year-old female Burner died in a Reno hospital after being transported from the Playa in 2010 because of an “unknown” medical condition, according to the Afterburn.

In 2005, a second Burner suffered cardiac arrest on the Playa and died that October after slipping into a coma in the hospital.

One fatality occurred from one of the two aircraft crashes in 2003. Barry Jacobs, the pilot of one of the planes, died after being hospitalized.

Two additional deaths in 2001 associated with the event included a Department of Public Works volunteer who died in a motor vehicle accident on the highway before the event and a second traffic fatality on Highway 447 during Exodus.

Michael Furey died in a motorcycle accident as the event was being set up in 1996.

The last edition of their newspaper was published on Thursday:

2014 BRB-Thursday-2-Page-PROOF-2

2014 BRB-Thursday-2-Page-PROOF-2

BREAKING: Woman Dies at Burning Man [Updates]

This just in, we will update the story if we get more details.

[Update 9/1/14 7:14pm]

The most recent version of events:

The art car was towing a trailer with heavy equipment including a generator. Burning Man founder Marian Goodell was on board, the accident happened just in front of First Camp. The 29 year old woman, Alicia Cipicchio from Wyoming, tried to jump on the bus while it was moving to climb a ladder to its roof, between the bus and trailer. She died at the scene. The driver has not been accused of any wrongdoing in what sounds like a tragic – and preventable – accident.

Preventable? Don’t try to jump on a moving art car, Burners.

Our condolences to Alicia’s family and friends – may she rest in peace. It seems that the Burner community came together, with the neighbors looking out for her distraught camp-mates.

Burner Gary said:

Dear Fellow Burners,
I’m attaching a very personal note we received from Alicia’s friends and campmates. This amazing act of kindness started the healing process for everyone. Our two camps met, shared the sadness, prayed and hope everyone understands this was a tragic accident, not reckless driving.

As you may know, Alicia tried to jump on the trailer ladder while the bus was moving and fell in between the bus and the trailer (apologies for being direct).

Our deepest sympathy goes out to everyone and please never jump on a moving art car, tragic accidents happen in a split second.

Please send your positive thoughts and pray this never happens again.

alicia note

 

 


 

From the SF Chronicle:

embrace and man and sun08-28) 08:49 PDT BLACK ROCK DESERT, NEV. — A woman died at Burning Man in northern Nevada early Thursday after she was run over by a bus carrying participants, authorities said.

Details of the crash were not immediately released, but Burning Man co-founder Marian Goodell described it as “a terrible accident.”

The victim’s name has not been released pending notification of her family.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and campmates,” Goodell said. “Black Rock rangers and emergency services department staff are providing support to those affected.”

The 500 rangers managed by organizer Black Rock City LLC are patrolling the art and entertainment event in addition to 95 federal and local law enforcement officers. Burning Man officials said they were working with the Pershing County sheriff’s office in its investigation of the death.

In 2003, Katherine Lampman of Belmont died at the event when she fell from an “art car” and was run over by its wheels. Lampman, 21, was a student at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco and an aspiring photographer.

Some 68,000 people are arriving in the Black Rock Desert about 120 miles north of Reno for the annual weeklong event. The gates opened Tuesday after a rainstorm hit the region, closing the festival Monday on its opening day.

The Shagadelica Bus

The Shagadelica Bus

The Art Car involved was Shagadelica, a double decker bus covered in fur. The incident appears to have happened just after midnight Thursday morning, in front of Center Camp and the keyhole. Burning Man updated their Facebook group with the news around 5am.

Fox47 News has a video story here. They are reporting that the woman fell under the bus and was run over.

From Reuters:

The woman, whose name and age was not immediately released, may have been riding on the bus before she fell under the wheels and was run over by it, said Sheila Reitz, dispatch supervisor for the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office.

Looking at the photo of bus, it’s easy to see how someone might fall off the top, but harder to see how they would then get run over. Perhaps she fell from the doorway?

[Update] 8/28/14 12:06pm

The 29-year old woman from Wyoming has been identified, From KRNV news Reno:

PERSHING COUNTY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) — Pershing County officials have identified the victim of Thursday morning’s deadly bus incident at Burning Man.
 
According to a press release from Pershing County authorities, Alicia Louise Cipicchio — a 29-year-old resident of Jackson, Wyoming — suffered fatal injuries early Thursday morning after falling under a large vehicle at the annual Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada.

Event officials, including representatives of Black Rock City, the Bureau of Land Management, and Pershing County Sheriff’s Office express their condolences and sympathies to the family, friends and campmates of the victim. Support is being provided to those affected by the tragedy.

Organizers are working with investigators from Pershing County Sheriff’s Office to determine the series of events leading to the incident. Anyone with information that may assist in the investigations is asked to contact (775) 273-2641.

 [Update 8/28/14 4:42pm] 5 Time Burner has shared a better photo of the Shagadelica. It pulls a trailer, which sheds some light on how a tragedy like this could occur:

shagadelic art car sand-ship

This is not the first time someone has been run over at the festival. There have been at least 2 other deaths there since 2011 – a fact that is news to me. The number of police sounds lower than previous years. From the Reno Gazette-Journal:

Humboldt General Hospital CEO Jim Parrish said earlier this week that deaths do happen at Burning Man. He said at least two other people have died there since the hospital began providing medical response in 2011.

This is the first reported Burning Man death this year.

The woman…sustained fatal injuries after she was struck and died at the scene. (Daily Mail)

No foul play is suspected, the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office said. (Raw Story)

Burners commenting online have shared details on some other incidents:

Tristan: another year i saw someone also get rolled over by a (smaller) art-car (only minor injuries). they learned it is a really bad idea to sleep under an art-car parked on the playa.  

…a few years ago a random guy was mugged by a guy dressed-up as a clown, it was pretty serious (broken arm).

Marco: the last time i was there we were in line and person got ran over by the family that was in their trailer

Leja: We had someone in our camp years ago who happened to die from his congenital heart defect just after setting his tent up. His family was contacted immediately. We were amazed by the rangers and other staff in how organized, thorough, solid and kind their response was.

Cameron: Remember the woman we found sleeping on the playa in the middle of the night last year and took back to her camp – no lights, no neon. Scary. Temple Burn.

Partick: At least we know what happened now…. All night we heard things like stab or massive gunshot……

El Chingdon: lets not forget the people who died in a burning airstream in 2003 because they left candles burning

Mr Fang: No one died in a burning airstream in 2003, but someone did die that year from injuries sustained when a small plane crashed

Laurie: We found a girl last year passed out face down in the middle of everything and had to call the rangers. She was in the dark and this could have happened then, it’s very hard to see out there in the in between spots

The Sheriff JD: may the clouds of your own heaven hold you gently and rest your soul in peace

from the UStream feed

screen cap from the UStream feed – definitely looks like Shagadelica

2014 shagadelica fatality

Photo of the victim from Facebook. Our condolences to her family and friends, and all the Burners who witnessed this tragedy. May she rest in peace.

alicia cipicchio

[Update 8/31/14 3:33pm]

Burner Frank is just back from the Playa, and took this photo of Shagadelica and Embrace. It looks like the trailer is full of speakers, which would be very heavy.

motorbike embrace

[Update 8/31/14 4:59pm] Someone who works at DMV has shared some further details about the accident:

It had nothing do to with driving while drunk. The girl jumped on the car while it was moving on the back and lost footing and the port geni ran over her that they tow. I work for DMV and all of the drivers are very responseable about keeping with brc rules/laws. In my time with DMV I have never come across a drunk operator.

 

How Not To Die At Burning Man

Fest300 is a web site that aims to become the Fortune 500 of festivals. It was founded by Burning Man Project Director Chip Conley, a prominent gay entrepreneur who is also on the Board of hippy favorites the Esalen Institute and Glide Memorial Church.

Fest300 today published an article “How Not To Die At Burning Man”, by Joseph Pred. Pred used to be Burning Man’s chief of emergency operations, until he stepped down in 2013 after new operations director Charlie Dolman was brought in to run the Nevada event.

From Fest300:

fest300 safety tips burningman-shorter

image from Fest300

There are some good tips here, like capping rebar – tennis balls work great and are easier to see in low-light conditions.

Almost 60% of patients are there for basic first aid – bring a first aid kit and be radically self-reliant, Burners. Your camp should have at least one fire extinguisher too.

Although it says do not leave fires unattended, there are more rules than that if you want to have a fire at Burning Man.

Sexual assaults probably occur without being reported. Here are the ones that were reported:

2009    5

2010    4

2011    9

2012    10

2013    7

As far as I know, this information has never been made public before. We covered this issue in The Dark Side of Burning Man – Rape on the Playa.

We’ve also looked at injuries on the playa before, in our post How To Get Hurt At Burning Man.

One Medical physician and Veteran Burner Dr Michelle Rhee has 10 Tips for Staying Healthy at Burning Man:

 nurse1. Plan for at least one gallon of water per day.

You’ll be walking, biking, and dancing in desert conditions during the day and night, so Rhee suggests you “double or even triple the amount of water you’d normally drink at home—at least one gallon per day.”

To make sure you’ve got water on you at all times, Rhee recommends a CamelBak. “I love my CamelBak.  It is always on my back and much more difficult to lose than a water bottle,” says Rhee. “My CamelBak Mule holds 3 liters, and I go back to camp at least one to two times to replenish.”

You should also watch carefully for signs of dehydration, including feeling dizzy, weak, or hyperthermic, decreased urination, and increased heart rate. “You are in the danger zone if you stop urinating and have really weak pulses,” cautions Rhee. “If this happens, go immediately to the medical units to get IV fluids. This is the quickest way to hydrate.” On the way over, she recommends that you start drinking coconut water or something that has sugar and salt in it to help keep the fluids in your blood vessels.

2. Bring a spray bottle to mist yourself.

When it comes to sun and heat protection, Rhee also suggests that you bring a spray bottle with a fan or a mister. “Spraying yourself with cool water with a fan will actually cool you down quicker than dousing yourself with a bucket of water,” says Rhee.

Also watch carefully for heat-related distress—if people start acting delirious, they stop sweating or are unconscious, seek immediate help.

3. Pack a basic first aid kit.

While the medical clinics at Burning Man are well stocked with things you might need (Rhee even had a friend get an EKG onsite!), she recommends you that you bring:

  • Band aids of all sizes (and antibiotic ointment like Neosporin)
  • Sports or paper tape with non-adherent pads for larger cuts and wounds
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • An ace bandage for sprains
  • Tylenol/ibuprofen or pain killer of your choice
  • Sudafed/Benadryl for congestion
  • Emergen-C packets for hangovers
  • Tryptophan 500 to 2000 mg or Melatonin 5 mg to help you sleep
  • Inhalers if you are asthmatic or prone to asthma-like reactions
  • Saline drops for your eyes
  • Saline nasal spray for your nose

4. Anticipate UTIs and yeast infections.

Given the very dry and often less-than-hygienic conditions, women may be more prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) and yeast infections on the playa (in fact, One Medical often sees a spike in UTIs immediately following the event). To prevent lady troubles, Rhee recommends that you take a daily probiotic and cranberry tablets and drink plenty of water, as well as urinating after having sex, always wiping from front to back, and wearing loose, breathable materials like cotton.

“Just in case, I would bring some boric acid (for bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections), Monistat or oral Diflucan (for yeast infections), Azo (for dysuria), and possibly a UTI treatment such as Cipro or Macrobid, if your provider OKs it,” says Rhee.

If you do get a UTI on the playa and you don’t have medication on hand, visit one of the medical clinics—they should be able to help you, says Rhee.

And don’t forget that when you get home, you can use the One Medical mobile app to treat UTIs without an appointment. Like www.fhatscasino.co.za tend to create the need for a larger way to accomodate a marketplace cellular apps.

5. Prepare for dust storms.

Dust storms are a fact of life in the desert, so most people wear goggles and some sort of scarf or bandana to protect their face and nose. If the dust gets to be too much, Rhee recommends flushing your nose/sinuses with a Neti pot and irrigating your eyes with cool water followed by saline drops.

Dust storms can also be disorienting. Rhee suggests bringing a compass to help you know which direction you’re facing… and also keeping a close eye out for vehicles that might not be able to see you. “Accidents are the thing I am most concerned about when it comes to dust storms,” says Rhee. “People still operate their bikes and art cars in the dust storms and can come at you when you least expect it, so be extra vigilant when you’re walking around in a storm.”

6. Avoid “Playa Foot” by keeping feet clean and moisturized.

“Playa foot” is a condition caused by the alkali dust that makes up the desert—essentially, it’s a chemical burn on your feet.

To prevent it, Rhee recommends keeping your feet covered out on the playa, washing your feet well every day, and applying moisturizer before getting in bed and before heading out. If you do notice irritation, soak your feet in water and wash your feet extra well, being careful to remove any dust embedded in the cracks of your skin.

According to the Burning Man prep guide, soaking your feet in water with a small amount of vinegar can also help to neutralize the alkali (1/4 vinegar and 3/4 water is a good mix). When you’re done, make sure to dry your feet very well and check for any errant playa dust. Continue to wash your feet a couple times a day to allow them to heal.

If you see any signs of infection (redness, swelling, increasing pain, red streaks running up your legs), if you develop a fever, or if your feet become so sore that you are no longer able to walk on them, seek immediate medical attention.

7. Don’t wait for blisters to happen.

Walking, biking, and dancing can also take a toll on your feet. To prevent blisters, Rhee urges people to “wear shoes that you can wear all day. And just don’t buy a pair of shoes that you have never walked around in before you get there.  You need to know they are comfortable.”

If you do get a blister on a weight-bearing location, Rhee suggests moleskin cut out in a donut to fit around the blister.

8. Eat hydrating, nutrient-rich foods.

To keep your energy up and your immune system strong, eat meals that include a protein, a complex carb, and healthy fat.

“A common dish I like to make is quinoa, chick peas, green onions, spinach, walnuts, dried cranberries, and feta with a honey, grainy mustard and red wine vinegar dressing,” says Rhee.

Rhee also recommends bringing lots of “simple things you can just pull out and eat,” such as Odwallas, cut-up fruit, raw energy bars such as Kind bars, or a smoothie that has proteins, greens, and immune boosters. “I also like to bring something warm for the evening when it gets cold, such as soup with some spice,” adds Rhee.

9. Party smart.

While overindulging in alcohol and taking drugs isn’t something Rhee condones, she does acknowledge that “lots of people party on the playa.”

To avoid trouble, Rhee recommends the following:

  • Eat something that is nourishing and lines your belly before you go out.
  • For every unit of alcohol, drink 8 ounces of water. In fact, Rhee suggest you “double fist” your drinks—water in one hand and the drink in the other.
  • Before you go to sleep, drink a good amount of water with electrolytes and take some ibuprofen.
  • Always have a buddy—someone who knows you and can help if you’ve had one too many.
  • Never mix alcohol with drugs (or mix drugs).

10. Know how to get emergency help.

“If you’re suffering from serious dehydration, if you think you might have an infection, or if someone is bleeding or unconscious (or in danger of harming themselves or others), it’s time to stop the party and get professional help,” says Rhee.

Black Rock City’s Emergency Services Department (ESD) operates two medical stations on the 3:00 and 9:00 plazas, and behind the Center Cafe at 6:00. Look for the neon blue cross on top of the buildings. These stations are staffed by emergency health care providers (doctors, nurses, medics, etc.) who donate their time and medical expertise; they’re also set up to provide rapid first-response medical care anywhere within Black Rock City.

If you’re not close to one of these stations, look for a paramedic wearing a yellow T-shirt with the ESD logo—they can be found walking around some of the more popular sites. You can also get help from the khaki-clad Black Rock Rangers, who are trained to respond to emergencies and will know how to get the appropriate resources to the scene.

Be well, be safe, and see you on the playa!

Take care, Burners! Your ticket entitles you to medical insurance that covers on-Playa treatment, the situation is less certain for those who have to be medivacked to Reno.