A Man Lit Himself On Fire In The Middle Of The National Mall

The reason for the self-immolation was not known and the man’s identity was not disclosed by officials. He is said to be in critical condition at a Washington hospital.

1. Updated Oct. 5, 11:50 a.m.: The man has since died from his injuries, the AP is reporting.

2. Witnesses said a man doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire Friday afternoon at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

3. Flames could be seen from across the Mall.

Katy Scheflen / AP

5. Local law enforcement said that the man was conscious and breathing when authorities arrived.

7. Witnesses said two men ran up to the man and put the fire out using their shirts.

My mom was near the guy who lit himself on fire on the Mall. Says these guys put it out with their shirts

— JTSTheHill (@Justin Sink)

DC police and passerby help man who set himself on fire on the Mall this afternoon

— LiveMusicGirl (@Vanessa Sink)

9. The unidentified man was airlifted out by medical helicopter.

Massive fire & EMS response on National Mall. Medivac helicopter just took off from scene. Developing...

— jgoldbergABC7 (@Jeff Goldberg)

11. It’s unclear if the incident was politically motivated.

Helicopter to transport man who set himself on fire on the Mall today.

— LiveMusicGirl (@Vanessa Sink)

Cops line off National Mall in front of Congress following reports someone set themselves on fire

— rafsanchez (@Raf Sanchez)

13. Police investigated the gas canister used in the fire.


14. D.C. Fire Department spokesman Timothy J. Wilson told The Washington Post that the man has life-threatening injuries.

BREAKING: Man just set himself on fire on national mall. Details on #News4

— SegravesNBC4 (@Mark Segraves)

16. D.C. police closed down the streets near the incident.

Alert:7th St btwn Madison Dr NW & Jefferson Dr SW is CLOSED due to an injured citizen. Use Alt Rte. See Attached/7066

— DCPoliceDept (@DC Police Department)

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Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com
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