Man who set himself on fire near White House dies in hospital after suffering burns to 85% of his body
A man who set himself on fire Wednesday near the White House has died, according to the National Park Service. The man, identified as 33-year-old Arnav Gupta from Bethesda, Maryland, died the previous night, the Thursday update said.
TMZ reported that his family had reported him missing on Wednesday morning.
"The individual was extinguished and later transported to a local hospital for treatment," the Parks Service said in a statement. "The Bethesda MD man identified as Arnav Gupta, died of his injuries later that evening. In accordance with policy, the investigation has been turned over to the Metropolitan Police Department."
A man set himself on fire near the White House on Wednesday, as reported by CNBC. The incident happened at the Ellipse, a 52-acre park which lies between the White House and the National Mall. The identity of the man is yet to be established, and it is not clear why he chose to do it.
It was reported that the man suffered burns on 85 percent of his body and was transported to a nearby hospital with 'life threatening' injuries.
There was a suspicious package on fire near him which was also extinguished, according to TMZ
The Secret Service tweeted, "At approximately 12:20 p.m. a man lit himself on fire on the Ellipse near 15th and Constitution Ave., Secret Service personnel are on scene assisting @NatlParkService and @usparkpolicepio in rendering first aid."
Secret Service spokesman Jeffrey Adams told CNBC that the agency’s Uniformed Division Officers “responded in seconds” after the “male individual lit himself on fire.” Describing the incident in detail, a student visiting the area with her friends told CNBC that “we saw this man and he starts running, and then we saw him covered in flames.”
She further added that “he started to walk” and then “cops started coming to the area and he collapsed.” This student captured the terrifying moment on her camera which was later posted on Twitter by her father.
Emergency responders were quick to act and the area was soon flooded with paramedics, firefighters, Secret Service personnel, and other law enforcement personnel. According to the Fire Department's spokesperson, the man suffered life threatening injuries and his condition is being monitored closely.
He told CNBC. “I can confirm that we’ve transported one patient with burns from the Ellipse and we’re now on the scene assisting law enforcement."
The video posted on Twitter clearly shows the man engulfed in flames, and law enforcement personnel acting immediately to douse it with fire retardants.
Further, this is not just a one-off incidence to have occurred near the White House. Last month, a man in a motorised wheelchair set fire to his jacket. This led to an immediate lock down of the White House and the immediate response by the Secret Service. The man was unharmed but it raised serious security concerns at that moment.