Aaron Joel Mitchell: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know


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A photo from a previous Burning Man festival. See the 2017 images below.

Aaron Joel Mitchell, 41, was identified as the man who died after running into the fiery effigy at the Burning Man 2017 festival, a horrific moment that was captured in a series of photos.

You can see some of the photos from that moment below, but be aware that they are graphic and disturbing.

Horrifically, Aaron Mitchell ran into “the Burning Man festival’s signature burning of a towering effigy,” reported SFGate, was pulled back out of it, and was airlifted to a hospital, where he later died.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Series of Graphic Photos Captured Rescuers Running After Mitchell As Mitchell Ran Into the Fire

One of the most shocking photos showed Aaron Joel Mitchell literally running into the blaze. It was captured by a photographer from Reuters.

Other photos also showed the man in the fire as well as rescuers running toward it in a bid to save him. According to USA Today, Mitchell “broke through a safety perimeter at Burning Man and ran into the flames of the massive burning effigy Saturday night” September 2.

According to The Las Vegas Review-Journal, “The annual festival is held in a dry lake bed in Pershing County.”

2. Mitchell Sprinted Past Fire Crews to Leap Into the Blaze

As TMZ put it, “a guy literally sprinted past fire crews Saturday night that were stationed around one of the giant burning man structures in Nevada, leaving him engulfed in flames. Firefighters leaped to the rescue and treated him on the scene.”

TMZ noted: “Photos of the incident were captured, and they’re pretty graphic. You see what appears to be a long haired man running full force into the blaze … and then tripping and falling with fire rescuers close behind.”

The man was rescued from the blaze, but he later died. According to USA Today, Black Rock City fire personnel pulled the man out of the flames.

“About 10:20 p.m. Saturday, Mitchell broke through two levels of safety perimeters at the Northern Nevada festival and ran straight into the active fire,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

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3. More Than 70,000 People Attended the Annual Arts Festival

Burning Man is an annual event that draws thousands of people.

“The annual arts festival in the Black Rock Desert attracts 70,000 to the city on a dry lake bed two hours north of Reno. The week-long gathering culminates with the burning of a wooden statue, which was 40 feet tall this year,” USA Today reported.

The images spread throughout the world.

More than 70,000 people attended the festival, SFgate reported.

4. The Festival Was Filled With Bad Omens This Year

There were other bad omens at the festival this year.

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“The nine-day festival in northern Nevada was briefly hampered when a lightning-sparked wildfire temporarily shut down Burning Man’s main travel route last week,” according to SFGate.

5. Aaron Mitchell Was Airlifted to a Hospital

Rescuers managed to get the man out of the fire and he was airlifted to an area hospital, but the sheriff later reported that he had died.

According to The Review Journal, “His severe burns were treated on the scene before being airlifted to the University of California, Davis, the closest burn treatment center. Mitchell was pronounced dead just before 6:30 a.m. Sunday.”

The newspaper reported that Mitchell was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident, but toxicology tests are pending.

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