Australian man self-immolates after ranting against Covid vaccines

An Australian man was critically injured after he doused himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire in public on New Year’s Day after ranting against vaccines, according to local reports.

The gruesome act of self-immolation occurred just after 8 p.m. local time in the Richmond section of Melbourne when the man poured the gasoline on himself and his vehicle while shouting expletives regarding the state of Victoria’s new COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to The Herald Sun.

Witnesses said police and firefighters tried to smother the burning man with water as he exited the vehicle, still shouting. With the help of five bystanders, officials restrained the man and put him into an ambulance which transported him to The Alfred hospital.

“His skin was burning. He was on fire,” a woman, who did not want to be identified, told the Herald Sun. “His skin is stuck to my shirt. He was just off his face screaming about the vaccine mandates.”

A spokesperson for the hospital told the paper that the man was in critical but stable condition.

One witness, Lydia O’Connor, was dining at a nearby restaurant when she said she heard the man’s screams.

“He poured gas on himself and on his car. It was on purpose,” she said.

“He was screaming about mandates,” she said. “He was screaming ‘No vax ID’, and throwing books.”

The scene was cordoned off by law enforcement after the incident, and patrons at local shops and restaurants were asked to remain inside. The man has not yet been identified by law enforcement.

The Victoria state government requires individuals to present proof of vaccination in order to enter bars, restaurants and movie theaters. Workers are also required to be fully vaccinated.