Did A Swedish Man Spontaneously Combust?

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.

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? [Göteborgs-Posten via Business Insider]



    Wow. Is this the first case of alleged spontaneous combustion in which the victim survived?

    If so, 1. good because it'd be a shame if the guy died and 2. could this possibly give us more of an insight into the phenomenon?

      One of the main theories behing spontaineous combustion is "wick effect". A common example cited is someone is laying in bed, or sitting on the couch smoking, falls asleep/passes out drunk, lit cigarette lands on their lap which ignites their clothing, then burns hot enough to start drawing body fats towards the flame; but doesn't exceed the heat level required for the fire to spread away from the body.

      Obviously all of the above is theory and speculation, but if the above were true, it'd be a slower more gradually burning; not a sudden huge flame ball like this guy is reported to have burst into.

        Yes, familiar with the wick effect. It seems that some cases match that (ooh bad choice of words) and others don't.

        Which is why I think it's fascinating to be able to study this poor fellow, alive, once he's recovered. Maybe we can get some answers. At the very least, if it turns out to be a lighter accident, it's one more incident to discount.

    my guess is he had some type of flamable gas/liquid on his clothes and a spark caught.

    ...If it wasn't something like his phone battery exploding or something that is.

      Sadly, he was on his way to the Apple store to get his iPod Nano replaced.

    Just a little correction. It doesn't make sense to say "the Göteborg-Posten". Göteborg-Posten is Swedish for The Gothenburg Post so you're basically writing "the The Gothenburg Post" :p

    So how do you say Gothenburg Post in Swedish (minus "the")?

    Unnamed driver and unidentified victim. Sounds legit, right?

    Better call Walter Bishop! Fringe division headed to Sweden.

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