25 people injured in hot coal walk in Switzerland

25 people injured in hot coal walk in Switzerland

A team building exercise in Switzerland went horribly wrong when 25 people suffered burns after walking over hot coals, police say.

The incident happened on Tuesday evening at a private event on the Au peninsula on Lake Zurich, the Zurich cantonal police said in a statement.

According to the police, participants in the event walked over a bed of coal several meters long and then complained of pain.

At least 10 ambulances were called to the property to treat the injured.

Cops said 25 people received medical treatment at the scene and 13 of them were taken to hospital with more serious injuries.

Authorities secured evidence and launched an investigation into the circumstances of the incident.

The German-language Swiss news channel Blick reported that the company event was organized by the marketing company Goldbach. Around 150 people were on site.

The news agency Kleinreport.ch quoted an internal memo that was sent to Goldbach employees on Wednesday. In the letter, CEO Michi Frank confirmed that several employees suffered burns after participating in a “voluntary” team activity in which they walked barefoot over glowing sticks of charcoal.

Frank said the firewalk was preceded by “reasonable preparation.” He wished the injured a speedy recovery and offered his support.

A company spokesman insisted that “no one was forced” to walk across the scorching embers.

The incident bears striking resemblances to a popular episode of the sitcom The Office, in which boss character Michael Scott encourages employees to walk on hot coals.