A man who was originally from the Ivory Coast set himself on fire, Thursday, at the Italian airport of Fiumicino, where he had arrived carrying a deportation order. Passengers and members of staff in the airport were understandbly shocked as they looked on in horror.
The 19-year-old man arrived at the departure's desk and spoke to police. He was then seen to pull out a bottle of lighter fuel which he poured over himself. He ran through the terminal, as officers gave chase, before he set light to himself.
A police officer attempted to quell the fire using an airport extinguisher. The officer received minor injuries. The man who was to be deported was taken to Sant'Eugenio hospital where his condition is said to be serious. He suffered extensive burns.
The man reportedly arrived in Italy this week, from Holland and had been seeking asylum. This was refused. He was due to be put on a flight back to Holland.. Police are investigating what happened and the circumstances surrounding the man's desperate measures.
As passengers at the airport heard screams, saw police running and smelled burning they thought a terroist attack was underway. That is so often our first thought these days. A sad indictment of the 21st Century.
However, it was a desperate man, taking desperate measures to stay in Italy.