Chicago opera faces probe after performer burned
CHICAGO (AP) — A federal agency said Tuesday it is investigating the injury of a fire-blowing stilt-walker who was burned during a dress rehearsal at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
A compliance officer from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has already visited the opera, said spokesman Scott Allen. The agency will interview witnesses, performers and employees to determine exactly how the accident happened and whether any safety regulations were violated.
Wesley Daniel suffered second-degree burns around his mouth during a dress rehearsal Monday for "Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg." Journalists invited to watch the rehearsal said the 24-year-old performer had to swig flammable liquid and spit it onto a torch he was holding. They described him staggering off stage and falling to the floor.
Daniel's father told the Lyric's deputy general director, Drew Landmesser, on Tuesday that although his son's mouth was burned, his throat and lungs are fine, the opera said. Daniel is expected to be discharged from Loyola University Medical Center on Thursday.
The Lyric said the fire-blowing stunt had been approved by the Chicago Fire Department, but it has now been removed from the production.
Daniel was wearing a flameproof costume and mask during the dress rehearsal, Lyric spokeswoman Magda Krance said. A staff member used a fire extinguisher to put out flames onstage, according to witnesses and journalists present.
Fergie, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Heidi Klum all get an F on this week's Fashion Offenders.Watch Video »
Diva Double Date
Beyonce and Alicia Keys double date with their famous hubbies on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Where Are They?
See what the cast of "American Beauty" is up to today.Watch Video »
J.Lo's Mini Me
Jennifer Lopez shares an adorable photo of her look-alike daughter, plus more celebritots on social media on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Prince Harry, Jessica Alba and more stars who threw out the first pitch at baseball games.Watch Video »
Sofia Vergara poses in a revealing neon bikini while her "Modern Family" castmates hit the beach in Australia on Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »