Stupidity backed by intoxication and a fireproof belief led to the death of a 31-year-old unemployed man from Tilak Nagar. The man doused kerosene and set himself ablaze on Tuesday night. Sachin Anand Kamble lived with his wife, who is a BMC employee, and their two children at Lokhande Marg, Chembur (West).
On Tuesday night, an inebriated Kamble met up with friends in the locality and upon hearing that a common friend had suffered burn injuries recently, began boasting that fire could not harm him. His friends laughed it off, thinking their drunken friend was joking. They were shocked when Kamble returned with a can of kerosene from a neighbour’s house, doused himself and struck a match. To their disbelief, Kamble set himself on fire and began running around screaming.
His friends were finally able to douse the flames after much difficulty, but Kamble had already suffered 95 per cent burns and was rushed to Rajawadi Hospital, where he succumbed yesterday. BB Rathod, senior police inspector of Tilak Nagar police station, said that Kamble began boasting to his friends that he could not get burned and then picked up a kerosene can kept on the window grill of a resident in the locality.
“Kamble suddenly poured the kerosene on himself. His friends tried to stop him, but Kamble who was drunk, lit a matchstick and playfully threatened to set himself on fire,” Rathod said. Tea stall owner Raju Mahesh Gupta, who was an eyewitness, said, “We were shocked and tried to stop Kamble, but he just wouldn’t listen to us. Within seconds he lit a matchstick and set himself ablaze. We were dumbstruck watching Kamble burst into flames.”
Gupta added that he and the others tried to help Kamble, but he kept running around the area making it difficult for them to douse the flames. “We followed Kamble, but we were scared that if we caught hold of him we would also get burnt,” Gupta said.
Local residents finally managed to catch hold of Kamble and wrapped him in wet gunny bags and then informed the police. “We rushed him to Rajawadi Hospital where he was admitted in the burn ward with 95 per cent burns,” said Gupta. The Tilak Nagar police registered a case of accidental death yesterday.