An 18-year-old was dumped into a cauldron of boiling water during the “Fasnacht” or "witches' parade" in Eppingen, Germany, on Saturday causing her to sustain second-degree burns on her legs.

One of the highlights in this year’s parade — an annual celebration in the southwestern town of Eppingen since 2003 — was a handcart being pulled by witches with a pot placed over a real fire. While most of the spectators were under the impression that the cauldron was a prop — something out of fairytales where such vessels are used to punish evil witches — it ended up playing a big part in the nasty turn of events at the procession, BBC reported

Witnesses at the parade said the young victim was carried by a group dressed as “witches,” initially as a form of jest, toward the boiling cauldron. However, several spectators were left in shock when the woman was dumped into the cauldron and landed knee-deep into the hot water.

One of the members of the group held the victim over the cauldron as the second one opened the lid covering the vessel before throwing the teen into it. The screaming woman was then abandoned by the group of “witches” on the roadside, as those responsible reportedly fled the scene.

The woman was later taken to the hospital where she received treatment for severe burns on her feet and calves. According to German media, the woman was friends with the group of witches who carried out the act at the carnival. Investigators are yet to establish the motive behind the incident.

The police have been able to identify some of the members of the group responsible for the inhuman act. However, law enforcement are still on the lookout for two people who were dressed in witch costumes and were part of the group.

The witches' guild of Eppingen, who organizes the event every year, were shocked to learn about the incident, and it is not yet clear if participants in the carnival were allowed to use real fires during the parade.

“Something like this should not happen,” mayor of Eppingen Klaus Holaschke told reporters. The case was supposed to be processed at the town’s city hall, Monday.

More than 2000 people walked in the 16th edition of the Fasnacht celebration this year, in Eppingen — a town with a population of 21,000 situated to the northwest of Stuttgart, near Heilbronn, in Baden-Württemberg state, Germany, Deutsche Welle reported. 

The "witches’ parade" is so famous, people from all over the continent come to participate in it. This year, 77 groups or “combos” participated in the event which included people from as far away as Alsace, France.

Festivals like “Fasnacht” are also celebrated in Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg, apart from Germany. These celebrations are meant to mark the start of the traditional fasting period prior to Easter in these countries.