A performing clown at Glastonbury has suffered a brutal, burning death.
A Glastonbury clown has suffered a garish, freakishly horrific death, with an inferno of flames set off by a dousing of gasoline. Glastonbury officials confirmed that Ashton Launcherley, a talented performer who focused on juggling, was consumed by flames that ultimately torched more than 95% of his body.
That created immediate issues of smoke inhalation and organ failure, according to information released by Taunton Coroner’s Court in nearby Somerset. Launcherley didn’t die immediately, but seemed to have little chance of survival after the ordeal.
At this stage, it appears that this was an accident. Though, the circumstances are freakishly rare, to say the least and raise a lot of unanswered questions. “On the afternoon of June 20th, Mr. Launcherley was discovered ablaze,” coroner Tony Williams stated. “He was doused in petrol and he was ablaze.”
“Mr. Launcherley was airlifted from the scene to Southmead Hospital in Bristol and then to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where he died the next day.”
Regardless of the circumstances, this is a tragedy that will put a damper on any attendee or fellow Glastonbury performer. Already, a JustGiving page has been opened, with donations nearly meeting their £3,800 ($4,931) target. That could quickly surge past the modest goal, offering some critical help to family members coping with the loss.
The bigger question for Glastonbury is what safety issues may have led to the unfortunately circumstance. Fire is part of the entertainment at the mega-festival, though of course, mishandling can create disastrous consequences. So far, we’ve heard nothing from Glastonbury officials on the matter.
More details ahead.
Image by Mike Beales, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).