At least 21 people were burned with at least three sent to the hospital after they participated in a "firewalk" at a Tony Robbins self-help convention.
The people who suffered various second-and third-degree burns were among more than 6,000 who attended an event Robbins billed as "Unleash the Power Within," reports The San Jose Mercury-News.
The convention opened Thursday at the San Jose Convention Center, and attendees had the chance to walk across 10 feet of hot coals laid out in an adjacent park as they exited the building.
"I heard wails of pain, screams of agony," Jonathan Correll told The Mercury-News.Â He described one young woman in so much pain "it was horrific."
"It was people seriously hurting, like they were being tortured," he said. "First one person, then a couple minutes later another one, and there was just a line of people walking on that fire. It was just bizarre, man."
Robbins did have a permit for the fire and there were emergency crews on hand in case it accidentally got out of control.Â But walking across a fire is hardly something the fire department recommends.
"We discourage people from walking over hot coals," Fire Dept. Capt. Reggie Williams said.