As part of the current ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a 51 year old Belgian man has been injured after his pilot friend bombed him with 1,500 liters (or 400 gallons) of water from a fire-fighting plane at the Empuriabrava aerodrome close to Girona in Catalonia, Spain.
A lot of people are starting to think that the current ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been taken a tad too far with many people doing crazy things, allegedly in the cause, but more likely to get exposure on YouTube.
Tuesday’s incident was definitely a case of taking things too far. At around 11.30 a.m. Tuesday the man stood on the tarmac at the aerodrome, while his pilot friend swooped down in the fire-fighting plane and dropped 1,500 liters (400 gallons) of water on him from a height of around seven meters (or 23 feet).
While initially reports said that the man had been seriously injured in the incident, he apparently did not receive internal injuries and suffered more from shock than anything else. He was taken to a hospital in nearby Girona for treatment. This is reportedly the first time that anyone using a fire-fighting plane injures a man during the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The fire-fighting plane apparently belongs to Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment. According to Rolf Kuratie, owner of Skydive Empuriabrava, which operates from the aerodrome, the Belgian man and his pilot friend arrange to do the stunt as a way to raise money for ALS but he said that the men had obviously miscalculated the amount of water that was in the plane at the time of the incident.
Kuratie said that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge stunt had nothing to do with his company’s business and told the media that his aerodrome was used on a regular basis by the fire department to perform practical training. The aerodrome, which is privately-owned is mostly utilized for sky diving and see thousands of visitors each year, including paratroopers and skydivers.
According to the local Catalonia police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, the incident is still under investigation. The man who was injured in the stunt remains unnamed and it is unknown if he has actually challenged anyone else to follow in his footsteps.
Many people in recent weeks, including various celebrities and politicians, have been chucking buckets of ice water over their heads and nominating their friends all in the cause of raising funds in the name of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The whole thing started when a former college baseball player, 27 year old Pete Frates, who had been diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease, posted a video on YouTube to raise money for research into amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Reportedly the American ALS Association has seen a massive increase in donations due to the various stunts performed.
While this is reportedly the first time that using a fire-fighting plane injures a man during the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, it can be expected that others will follow the stunt and do something equally silly.
By Anne Sewell
Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan)