Man Who Set Himself on Fire in St. Peter's Square Dies

Police Continue Investigation as Troubled Man Succumbs to Third Degree Burns

Vatican City, (Zenit.org) | 1954 hits

A 51-year-old man, who covered himself with gasoline and set himself on fire on Thursday in St. Peter’s Square, has passed away.

The unidentified man succumbed to third degree burns on his upper body while being treated at Sant’Eugenio hospital in Rome.

According to Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, the first person on the scene was a Jesuit priest who immediately tried to put out the flames with his jacket. Two police officers then came and put out the flames with a fire extinguisher. The officers were later treated for respiratory problems and burns to their hands.

According to police, the man, who worked at a nearby Vatican-run hospital, had family problems and health issues which might have contributed to his decision to carry out the self-immolation. Police found a note near the man with his daughter's telephone number written on it.  (J.A.E.)