Italian sets himself on fire in St Peter's Square

Securing the scene

An Italian man set himself on fire in St Peter's Square yesterday and is being treated in hospital with burns over half his body, the Vatican and police sources said, reports news.com.au.

The man, 50, who worked as a cleaner in a nearby Vatican-run hospital and had a major family dispute on Wednesday, was seen by police in closed-circuit footage covered in fuel and setting light to his clothes.

Before his act, the man left a note on the ground with his daughter's phone number, police sources said, adding that he may have had health problems. He worked at Santo Spirito hospital near the main Via della Conciliazione avenue to the Vatican and is being treated at another clinic outside the city centre.

A Vatican statement says a Jesuit priest initially tried to smother the flames with a jacket. He was later joined by two police officers who used a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze. The agents were treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation and injuries to their hands.

Photo: An Italian policeman walks on the white powder of a fire-extinguisher used to put out the blaze 

FULL COVERAGE

Italian man sets self on fire at St Peter's Square (news.com.au)

Man sets fire to himself in St Peter’s Square (The Catholic Herald)

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