[ Man may have been drugged, others dossed him with gasoline, and recorded the event nearby. Victim seems to be genuinley grateful that passerby's "Saved Him" ]
In a bizarre act that capped a nervous few days in Congress, a man poured gasoline on himself and lit himself on fire on the National Mall late Friday afternoon.
Flames and smoke from the self-immolating man near 7th Street and Jefferson Drive, SW, were visible from the Capitol, where some staffers watched the scene from west facing windows, just a day after a car chase that ended with the shooting death of a woman just outside the Hart Senate Office Building.
The incident happened at about 4:30 p.m. on Friday in between the Air and Space Museum and the National Gallery. Passing joggers rushed to the man’s aid, several ripping off their shirts to help beat out the flames that burned 80% of his body, ABC reports.
Passersby who saw the man rushed to his aid, several ripping off their shirts to help put out the flames.
The man reportedly thanked the joggers before he was taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center by a U.S. Park Police helicopter that landed on the Mall.
Fire department spokesman Tim Wilson said the man suffered life-threatening injuries, but was conscious and breathing at the scene.
Authorities are now investigating the man’s motives.