On Friday, reports said that a man had set himself on fire in front of sightseers on the Ellipse park near the White House in Washington, D.C. Uniformed officers of the Secret Service “responded in seconds” after the man lit himself on fire. Officers began administering first aid and the man was transported to a hospital, TMZ said.
Although the man was seen walking while on fire as though he was wearing a protective suit, one law enforcement source said he suffered burns over 85 percent of his body, TMZ added.
Alina Berzins, a 17-year-old recent high school graduate from Lorton, Virginia, told CNBC that she was visiting the National Mall with two of her cousins from Bolivia when “we saw this man” on the Ellipse and “he starts running, and then we saw him covered in flames.”
“He started to walk” and then “cops started coming to the area and he collapsed,” Berzins said. The fire then was extinguished, she said.
Berzins said that she and the other passersby in the area were stunned by the sight of the man.
“Everybody was in shock,” Berzins said. “I was in shock.”
Her father posted this video of the incident to Twitter:
— Krisjan Berzins (@KrisjanBerzins) May 29, 2019
TMZ posted the following video:
It’s not known at this time why the man set himself on fire. Was it a stunt intended to protest the president? It wouldn’t be the first time as we reported here shortly after the 2016 election. Another person set himself on fire at Trump International Hotel to protest the president in January 2017.
According to CNBC, a White House spokesman had no immediate comment.
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