Man sets himself on fire in Geylang carpark
Witnesses shocked as man in his 70s douses himself with flammable liquid before lighting himself up at a carpark in Geylang
A man in his 70s set himself ablaze with a can of flammable liquid at a Geylang carpark last night.
Witnesses said they had seen him carry the can to the carpark at the junction of Geylang Lorong 19 and Lorong Bachok at around 10pm yesterday.
He stood beside a TransCab taxi in a corner of the carpark, poured the liquid on himself and set himself alight.
The man burned for around four minutes while passers-by rushed to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher that they took from a nearby coffee shop.
A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) spokesman said the man was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital with burn injuries.
His condition was unknown as at press time.
A witness, Mr Heng Peng Kwang (below), told The New Paper that he had seen the man at the carpark clutching a metal can in his hands.
The man then leaned on the taxi but Mr Heng did not see him pour the liquid on himself.
Mr Heng, 59, who was hanging out opposite the carpark with five friends, said in Mandarin: "I was suspicious at first but my friends laughed at me because they thought the man was just acting."
After a while, he heard an explosion.
Mr Heng, who works in the hotel line, added: "There was a big 'boom' and the next thing I saw were flames that shot up very high behind the taxi."
Other people who saw what happened quickly rushed to the man's aid.
A rag-and-bone man, Mr Koh Teo Mong (below), 68, told TNP in Mandarin: "He was just shouting 'Ahhhhh!' I tried to look for water but could not find any."
The fire was put out about four minutes later after a passer-by carried out a fire extinguisher from a nearby coffee shop.
Mr Heng recalled: "As he burned, he was still standing with arms outstretched.
"When we put the fire out, he was still conscious but had gone quiet. His clothes and hair were completely burnt off. He just stood there, stiff and burnt."
Mr Heng called for the police and an ambulance which arrived in about 10 minutes.
TNP understands that the victim suffered severe third-degree burns.
The man was a known figure in that part of Geylang but his identity could not be established. Mr Heng said the man was seen on Monday playing Chinese chess at Rong Cheng Restaurant, which is near the scene of the incident.
Police have confirmed the incident and investigations are ongoing.
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