Krampus is Santa’s (known in Austria as Saint Nicholas) terrifying evil companion, who punishes naughty children.
Peter Feierl, who organised the ‘Perchtenlauf’ procession in Obdach, said the man is “on his way to recovery” but that he has no idea as to why his costume caught fire – adding that all safety precautions had been followed.
The event finished at around 8pm and people had begun to disperse when the man’s costume burst into flames. Luckily members of the local fire brigade had been watching the procession and were quickly able to extinguish the flames. However, he still had severe burns on his upper body.
Doctors said that the man suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns and that up to 20 percent of his skin was affected. He’s being treated by plastic surgeons in Graz.
Police are now investigating the incident. It’s possible that a lit torch that the man was holding came into contact with flammable liquid that had dripped onto his costume.
Feierl said that the man has been taking part in Krampus events across Austria for the past ten years – and is known for his fire breathing skills.