Law enforcement officials collect evidence at the scene
where a man reportedly set himself on fire at the US
National Mall in Washington. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
A man went up in flames in the middle of the National
Mall before bystanders snuffed out the fire and he was rushed
to a hospital, police and witnesses say.
Initial reports indicated the man set himself on fire, though
it could not yet be confirmed, police spokesman Hugh Carew
Police responded to an emergency call about a fire shortly
before 4:30pm on Friday (local time) on the Mall lined by
Washington's famed Smithsonian museums, Carew said.
Nicole Didyk, an environmental engineer for the Federal
Aviation Administration, told Reuters she was out for a run
when she saw spotted a man with small flames on him.
"He was the only one in the middle of the mall," she said.
"There were five gentlemen hitting him with their T-shirts.
When he fell over his arms were all white. He was burnt
The man thanked people who helped put the fire out, Didyk
She said the incident occurred on the grassy part of the Mall
several blocks from the Capitol grounds, where a day earlier
a car chase that began near the White House ended in a fatal
Carew said the man was still conscious and breathing when he
was taken to the hospital.
There was a red plastic gas cannister on the grass near where
the man had been.