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Saturday
Oct052013

Man Who Set Himself on Fire on National Mall Dies of Injuries

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A man who set himself on fire Friday afternoon on the National Mall has died of his injuries, a D.C. Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

The man succumbed to his injuries at about 9 p.m. Friday, authorities said.

He has not been identified due to the severity of his burns. Police are working to identify him through DNA analysis.

The man doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire on the National Mall Friday afternoon.

D.C. police received a call at 4:24 p.m. reporting the incident, and the fire was out by the time authorities arrived at the scene.

The man was conscious and breathing when he was transported by helicopter to MedStar Hospital. He suffered burns on 80 percent of his body, a National Park Service official said.

Police said they do not know what motivated the man to apparently self-immolate and the matter remains under active investigation.

Nicole Didyk, an Federal Aviation Administration engineer who was running on the mall at the time of the incident, saw other runners using their shirts to put out the flames.

"I saw him charred and his face was white," Didyk told ABC News.

Police cars began arriving "from everywhere," said Megan van Heertum, who added that the mall "smelled like burning flesh."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio