OTSU, SHIGA PREF. – Ten people were burned during a fire-fighting drill Sunday in Shiga Prefecture that left three victims — including two girls aged 6 and 8 — scorched over their entire bodies, firefighters said.
The incident happened at around 6:40 a.m. at an athletic ground in the city of Higashiomi, where about 150 people were taking part in a drill hosted by a residents association, the police said.
The burns were caused when a pan that was being used to heat alcohol for use in controlled fires erupted after a man tried to add more alcohol to it, they said. The alcohol was already on fire when he attempted to enlarge the flames.
The man, 50, was a member of a local volunteer fire company and one of the three seriously injured.
The girls were about 3 to 4 meters away from the pan but quickly turned into fireballs when the flaming alcohol splashed onto them, participants said.