WASHINGTON — Police in the U.S. capital say a man who set himself on fire Friday on the National Mall has died of his injuries.
A Washington police spokesman Araz Alali said the man died Friday night at a local hospital, just hours after witnesses say he doused himself with gasoline and set himself ablaze.
It was not immediately known who the man was or what his motive might have been.
The incident occurred in the heart of Washington, just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol, not far from where police shot and killed a woman Thursday after a high speed car chase.
The National Mall is a large open area park filled with grass, walking paths and benches that connects the Capitol with two of Washington's other most prized monuments — the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The Mall is widely popular among joggers, dog walkers and tourists and attracts millions of visitors each year.
A jogger who was on the Mall on Friday, Nicole Didyk, told VOA that several men who were passing by the burning man removed their shirts to smother the flames. She said the man thanked the people who helped put out the fire.
Police say the man was conscious when they arrived on the scene. He was then transported by helicopter to the hospital.