Wed. Apr 24th, 2019

A person tries to set himself on fire in front of the White House

A person tries to set himself on fire in front of the White House

A man tried on Friday to set himself on fire in front of the White House, but agents of the Secret Service, the body in charge of protecting the president of the United States and his family, prevented him from doing so, official sources reported.

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The events took place at 14.45 local time (18.45 GMT), on the outside of the fence that surrounds the presidential residence in the northern garden area, next to Pennsylvania Avenue.

"The individual has been transferred to a local hospital with what appear to be injuries that do not pose a threat to his life," the Secret Service said through a message posted on social networks a few minutes after the incident.

According to the authorities, the suspect was moving in an electric wheelchair when, suddenly, "caught his jacket on fire."

"Agents of the Uniformed Division - of the Secret Service - acted immediately, put out the fire and gave him first aid," the message adds.

Due to the incident, the authorities cut traffic on a nearby street, the White House closed its access and for a few minutes no one could enter or leave the premises.

Several similar incidents in recent years, involving individuals who have jumped the fence that protects the White House, have led to a gradual increase in security in the perimeter of the presidential residence.

In February of last year, a woman crashed her vehicle against one of the security fences that protect the building, forcing the temporary closure of the complex that houses the presidential residence.

This happened minutes after US President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave a joint press conference at the White House.

Just a month later, a man lost his life after being shot in front of the White House for unknown reasons.


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