A man has deliberately lit himself and his car on fire in front of horrified diners while screaming about Victoria, Australia’s Covid-19 vaccine mandates.
The man emerged from a silver hatchback which was engulfed in flames near Church St in Richmond about 8 pm on Saturday.
Police officers and firefighters doused the man with water to extinguish the flames.
Around five witnesses restrained the man before officers pinned him to the ground.
The man was then escorted by officers into an ambulance before he was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
One witness who helped restrain the man told news outlet The Herald Sun that the man’s flesh was burning before the flames were put out with water.
‘His skin was burning. He was on fire,’ she told the news outlet.
‘His skin is stuck to (my) shirt.
‘He was off his face screaming about the mandates.’
Lydia O’Connor was having dinner at a nearby restaurant when she heard the man screaming.
‘He poured gas on himself and on his car. It was on purpose,’ Ms O’Connor said.
‘He was screaming about mandates. He was screaming: no vax ID and throwing books.’
Patrons inside surrounding venues have been instructed to remain inside as police cars cordoned off the intersection near Church St and Swan St.
Bystanders initially saw black smoke billowing from the vehicle while the driver’s side door appeared completely blackened from the blaze.
Crime scene photographers arrived at the scene as investigators were seen collecting pieces of evidence from the ground and tram tracks.
Victoria Police said it was called to the intersection after reports of a man self-harming. The man was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The incident has caused disruptions to trams which run along Route 70 and Route 78 while police investigate.
Just recently a similar situation occurred : Melbourne Woman Sets Herself On Fire Inside Car With Sign: “NO ONE CARES, MANDATES ARE KILLING US”