Stressed trucker sets himself on fire

A trucker set himself on fire near an apartment in Chon Buri's Pattaya early Tuesday morning, and police suspect the man was stressed out because he was unable to pay vehicle accident compensation.

People rushed to help when Pitak Boonsup, 45, was seen to be suddenly on fire and screaming in agony. They doused the flames with water and the badly burned man was rushed to a hospital, police said.

The police searched the area and found liquor, a bottle containing some petrol and a shirt smelling of petrol.

Police said Mr Pitak's truck had collided with a car, splitting it in half. He later complained about having no money to pay the damages. Police believed this was the reason Mr Pitak set himself on fire.

The truck driver's girfriend, Banjong Saengsuwan, told the police he suddenly began pouring petrol around their apartment room before the incident.

She said the man then set fire to a shirt in the apartment. They had a serious argument, which was eventually stopped by Mr Pitak's 17-year-old son.

The apartment building's guard said he saw Mr Pitak walk out of the building. He said the man looked tense and did not respond when he spoke to him.

"A while later I smelt something burning. I went to check and saw a man was on fire. I immediately asked for help from others and called the ambulance," said the guard.

Related search: self immolation