Washington: A 33-year-old Indian man died Thursday after he set himself on fire on a lawn near the White House on Wednesday, news agency PTI reported quoting police officials.
The man who set himself ablaze was identified as Arnav Gupta, a resident from Bethesda in Maryland and suffered from 85 per cent burn injuries, Daily Mail reported. According to police sources, Gupta was hallucinating at the time after he consumed the drug K2— a form of synthetic marijuana—that had been laced with Phencyclidine (PCP). However, the motives behind the incident remain unclear.
“At approximately 12:20 pm a man lit himself on fire on the Ellipse near 15th and Constitution Ave., Secret Service personnel are on scene assisting @NatlParkService and @usparkpolicepio in rendering first aid,” according to a tweet by the US Secret Service.
Though the victim was rushed to a local hospital after the flames were extinguished, he died today morning, the US Park police said in a statement.
Police further said that Gupta’s family had reported him missing since Wednesday morning. Montgomery Country Police said the family was concerned about the victim’s “physical and emotional welfare”.
Authorities are trying to identify the accelerant which was used and to determine whether a car belonging to Gupta was parked in the area. The investigation meanwhile, has been taken over by the Washington DC police officials. A video of the incident was recorded which was posted on Twitter.