It seems as though stories of spontaneous human combustion are making a comeback. We’ve blogged about a few of these stories (in an adult video store, an Irish case, and a second case in Ireland), and I just came across this story of some more SHC (spontaneous human combustion for people who like acronyms).
We’ve already explained how many of the famous cases of “spontaneous combustion”may actually occur but that doesn’t make this case any less strange.
Last weekend, a man standing outside a record store in the city of Gothenburg’s train station suddenly burst into flames. An off-duty tram driver was able to tackle and extinguish the fire. “The man stood up and burned outside the record store. After a while he began to scream. There were several people around but they just stood and watched. I ran up, tore off my jacket and got together with another guy off the man,” the unnamed driver told the Göteborgs-Posten [ed: apologies for the Google translation].
The victim, who only give his age (42) before losing consciousness, was not carrying ID—or presumably lost it in the fire. He was immediately transported to an area hospital and will remain under sedation for several weeks on account of the severity of his burns. The police are currently investigating in hopes of at least discovering his identity.
So, what do you think? Was this an X-files event? A self-induced political statement? Or something as benign as a faulty cigarette lighter exploding in a pants pocket?
Stories like this are always interesting, but at the same time they rub me the wrong way. We don’t know the man’s identity, and there’s a lot of possibilities about what may have caused this so-called spontaneous combustion. Right now, the jury has to remain out on this one until we get some more information.