Burnouts are great fun, but running the engine at the limit for a sustained smoke show can lead to some pretty spectacular failures. And sometimes, the fireworks can be extremely dangerous, as this video showing a car spraying a crowd with burning gasoline during a burnout competition Down Under aptly demonstrates.
The BBC reports at least 12 people were injured on Sunday at the Red Centre NATS event in Alice Springs, Australia when some sort of mechanical malfunction turned the car into a flamethrower as it swung in front of a crowd-lined fence. Intense video captured by a witness shows a blast of fire briefly engulf a group of spectators, who quickly scatter as onlookers scream and shout.
Organizers issued a statement canceling the rest of the event—no small thing, considering last year's attendance was around 14,000—and police are investigating the incident, according to the BBC. It's not clear at this point how the flames erupted.
While two people have been released from the hospital already, others aren't so lucky. One 47-year-old man is still in critical condition with severe burns to more than 20 percent of his body, and his 19-year-old son also remains hospitalized.
When asked by NT News if people were allowed to get too close to the fence, an event organizer defended the setup while acknowledging the fundamental risks, adding that the investigation will determine if changes need to be made.
"Motorsport events are inherently dangerous. Cars involved in burnouts can lead to fires occurring," NT Major Events general manager Andrew Hopper said. "What we do do is plan our events very carefully. Safety is a real focus. Once the investigation is complete, we’ll relook at what those findings were and if things need to be addressed then we’ll address that."