A Mauritian woman allegedly burst into flames on a bench in Flensburg, in northern Germany. Flensburger Tagesblatt, a German newspaper, reports that after fire and smoke apparently emanated from her, she was left severely burned.
A passer-by had attempted to help her using his jacket to put out the flames, but to no avail. Other witnesses claim that she made no sound when the flames emerged from her.
She was transported to a hospital where she remained in a critical condition.
What really happened to her? According to prosecutor Ulrike Stahlmann-Liebelt, one of the possibilities considered is suicide. Furthermore, Flensburg public prosecutor Otto Gosch said that no evidence of criminal implications was found.
This case is described as being one of “spontaneous human combustion” whereby a person’s body takes fire without any apparent external ignition source. Hundreds of such accounts have been recorded in history.