General News

A Survivor's Chances Go Up in Flames

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Aug 01, 2001 | 11:48am EDT

Every water cooler in America is buzzing: what happened to Mike on "Survivor"?

Audiences tuned in on Thursday night to find out exactly what kind of tragedy took place on the hit show. Viewers had been teased for a week with vague promos, sparking debate across the Internet. But finally, it was revealed: Castaway Michael Skupin fell face-first into a fire.

Having fanned the campfire for several minutes, Skupin inhaled a plume of smoke and apparently passed out for a brief moment, pitching forward into the flames. He broke his fall with both hands, scorching his flesh up to his wrists. He quickly snapped out of his daze and screamed several times, running into the Herbert River to ease the pain of his wounds.

Shortly after the incident, the CBS medical staff attended to his burns, bandaging his hands and forearms, and a helicopter was flown in to take Mike to a Brisbane burn unit three hours away.

On Friday morning, he told CBS' "Early Show": "The brim of my hat and my sunglasses saved my face…. It took about twelve seconds until I actually woke up."

Regarding his rapid recovery, Skupin said, "I watched a miracle take place before my eyes. My hands healed miraculously." Unfortunately, though, "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett decided Skupin would not return to the show.

And then there were 10.

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