[caption id="attachment_71481" align="aligncenter" width="635"] TERRY HAYES
Passersby who saw the man rushed to his aid, several ripping off their shirts to help put out the flames.
Passersby who saw the man rushed to his aid, several ripping off their shirts to help put out the flames.[/caption]Man Sets Himself Ablaze in D.C.'s National Mall
An unidentified man is believed to have doused himself with a flammable liquid likely gasoline and set himself ablaze this afternoon at the National Mall in Washington D.C. One witness on hand said that she saw five good Samaritans trying to extinguish the fire with nothing more than t-shirts.
According to the Huff Post:
He was standing by himself in the center portion of the Mall when he emptied the contents of a red gasoline can on himself and set himself on fire moments later, said Katy Scheflen, who witnessed it as she walked across the area. Police say they responded around 4:20 p.m. Friday.
One witness in particular said she witnessed flames around the man as high as two-feet but did not see him engulfed in flames. However, she said that the air around the man had the distinct odor of burning flesh.
Another witness said the man's face and extremities were charred black. The man was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition with multiple life-threatening injuries. A spokesman for the fire department stated that the cause of the fire has not been determined yet. However, the real question remains what was the man's motive for setting himself on fire.
[caption id="attachment_71480" align="aligncenter" width="635"] TERRY HAYES
A man reportedly poured gasoline on himself and lit himself on fire on the National Mall on Friday.
One witness said that one of them men attempting to put out the flames reportedly saw the man ignite himself. The victim was said to have faced the Capitol building and then set himself on fire. Police were quick to respond to the incident. The first emergency call came in to the fire department 4:42PM EST.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center tweeted that the man was taken there and he was in critical condition.
"There was not a lot people could do because it was a gasoline fire," Scheflen said.
Authorities are now investigating the man's motives.
"I'm not aware of any signage or any articulation of any causes," said Lt. Pamela Smith of the U.S. Park Police, which has teamed up with the D.C. police department.
Tommy Hess, a tourist visiting his brother, said he was on the Mall, "milling around, because everything is closed due to the shutdown."
"I never expected to see anything like that," Hess said. "It's crazy."
[caption id="attachment_71482" align="aligncenter" width="635"] TERRY HAYES
The man reportedly thanked the joggers who came to his aid before he was taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
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