Man sets self on fire while screaming ‘No vax ID!’
A man in Australia sustained life-threatening injuries after setting himself ablaze in public, reportedly in protest of the country’s coronavirus restrictions, including a new vaccine mandate in Victoria state.
The horrific self-immolation took place in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond on Saturday – New Year’s Day – according to local media reports, with witnesses stating an unidentified man soaked himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire, all the while denouncing ongoing pandemic measures.
“His skin was burning. He was on fire,” one witness, who asked not to be identified, told Melbourne’s Herald Sun. “His skin is stuck to my shirt. He was just off his face [intoxicated] screaming about the mandates.”
The aftermath of the grisly act was reportedly captured on film, in which a witness said the man had “just f**king blown his car up” as the wails of horrified bystanders could be heard in the background. A significant blaze was also visible some distance down the road.
A #Victorian man set himself on fire inside his car while screaming about #COVID19 vaccine mandates.Shocked bystanders pinned down the man as police and firefighters doused him with water and rushed him to the hospital with life-threatening injuries#auspol#Melbourne#victoriapic.twitter.com/gfcZpx9f9h— 5 News Australia (@5NewsAustralia) January 1, 2022
Another witness who was eating at a restaurant nearby during the incident said she could hear the man “screaming ‘no vax ID!’” and saw him “throwing books,” adding that he then “poured gas on himself and on his car. It was on purpose.”
While a number of people attempted to restrain the man and extinguish the flames, state police confirmed that he was rushed to hospital with serious burns, while a spokesperson for the facility said he was in critical, but stable, condition.
In addition to a series of on-and-off lockdowns, Victoria state has imposed a number of sweeping mandates aiming to stem the spread of Covid-19, among them a vaccine requirement affecting a large swath of its labor force, as well as a ‘passport’ scheme that prohibits entry to bars, restaurants, and other public venues for the unimmunized.