Horror as man sets himself on fire at Frankfurt train station

Witnesses were horrified to see the man set himself aflame outside the busy central train station.

Horror as man sets himself on fire at Frankfurt train station
Frankfurt central train station. Photo: DPA.

Witnesses told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) that the 62-year-old man had been hanging around a cafe at the busy train station for some time on Monday.

Then at about 1pm, he suddenly took off his shirt, and doused the upper half of his body in some kind of lighter fluid.

The next thing people saw was that he was in flames and was running around the area outside of the station.

Several passersby then ran to him and thrust him to the ground, using water to put out the fire, according to the newspaper.

Soon firefighters and medics were on the scene to take him to hospital.

Police reported that it appeared to be a suicide attempt and that the man was suffering from third degree burns. One of the people who initially tackled him also suffered from second and third degree burns and was also taken to hospital

An employee of the cafe told FAZ that the man was homeless and had stopped by nearly every day to loiter around the train station. But he had never before done anything to attract attention.

“I had the impression that he didn’t really know what he was doing. As the passersby saw the flames, some screamed. The flames were really high,” the cafe worker said.

Frankfurter Rundschau reported that “hundreds” of people witnessed the event which happened during lunch hour.

Police said they are still investigating the case.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.