Tourists take selfies as ‘human fireball’ burns alive in crowded city centre

As a man who was bizarrely dressed in a Grim Reaper costume set himself on fire in front of the historic Galata Tower in Turkey, heartless bystanders took selfies with the burning man.

Even small children stood and watched as the horrifying incident played out.

A video clip circulating on social media shows the man staggering around as flames erupt from his body.

He drops the scythe that was part of his costume but, incredibly, remains on his feet – stretching his arms out before falling to his knees and struggling to get back up.

Eventually, after an agonisingly long period while he rolls on the floor engulfed in flames, a couple of local shop-keepers appear with fire extinguishers to put out the blaze.

Almost unbelievably the man, who had reportedly doused himself in petrol before setting himself alight, survived the horrifying ordeal and was able to speak to the authorities after being given first aid.

After the clip was posted online, commenters expressed their disbelief at how bystanders had reacted.

One speculated that they must have thought the shocking incident was ”just a show” while another wondered why children had been allowed to watch as the man burned.

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Speculating that may people would have believed it was a harmless stunt, one viewer wrote online: “I would assume this is a street performance and I think many others did also.

“For the people freaking out here… what’s a more common occurrence? Street performer or someone with mental health issues lighting himself on fire in the middle of the street?”

Another commented: "A person burned himself in front of the Galata tower because of what he had been through…

"While the event was taking place, there were children, those who took selfies, and those who drank their lemonade in the café.

"Where there were so many people and shopkeepers, there was no one to stop or prevent a person's desperation before the event."

One Twitter user, uploading a screen-grab of the moment a small child took a photo of the burning man as he fell to his knees, sadly commented “we live in a dark world”.

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