Man Sets Himself on Fire at National Mall

Eyewitnesses claim to have seen the man douse himself in gasoline

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A fire investigator and K-9 dog investigate the scene on the National Mall in Washington, where, according to a fire official, a man set himself on fire Friday, Oct. 4, 2013.

A man was set on fire Friday afternoon at the National Mall and died from his injuries later that night, the Associated Press reports. One witness, Katy Shefian, told the AP that she saw a man dump a can of gasoline on his head before setting himself ablaze.

The call for help came at 4:24 p.m. and authorities were on the scene at Seventh Street and Madison Drive three minutes later. One witness, Adam Stifel, told CNN, “I saw a man sitting in flames,” adding,  “He had already doused himself in gasoline, I believe.” According to Shefien, several joggers took off their shirts to help extinguish the blaze before emergency personnel arrived. You can watch a video of the airlift here.

Another bystander tweeted about the incident:

The man has been taken the hospital with “life threatening injuries,” according to fire department spokesman Tim Wilson.

This latest incident comes in a turbulent time for Washington DC. In the last three weeks there has been a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, a high-speed car chase near the capitol, and a government shutdown.

[Washington Post and AP]