Woman who died after being found on fire in street is named as Rachel Osei

Police and fire services have launched an investigation after the woman, believed to be 18 years old, suffered burns to every part of her body

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The Independent Online

A young woman who died after she was found on fire in the streets of south-west London yesterday morning has been named as Rachel Osei.

Emergency services responded to reports that Ms Osei, 18, was burning on a level crossing at West Barnes Lane in New Malden.

Firefighters extinguished the fire but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Neighbours described hearing “blood-curdling” screams as she fell to the ground, and a spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade said she had suffered burns to every part of her body.

Police officers arrived at the scene at 1.10am and sealed off neighbouring streets and nearby Burlington Road, which remained closed until Sunday afternoon.

Officers had said they believed they knew who the woman was and informed her next of kin, and she was identified as Ms Osei in local reports today.

Investigators described the death as “unexplained” and launched an investigation with the fire brigade.

Scotland Yard told reporters the fire may have started in a nearby house in Linkway.

A spokesperson said: “The death is being treated as unexplained at this time, however early indications would suggest that it is not suspicious.”

Officers confirmed that Ms Osei had a young son, who was being looked after by relatives when she died and remains in their care.

Police added that they wanted to speak to three people who rushed to her aid and tried to put out the flames.

Layla Hamid, 20, a student who lives opposite the house, told the Daily Mail: “I heard initially what I thought was a fox making a noise or an animal in pain.

“I heard four separate screams - the first one right outside the house and then more screams in the road and then behind me on the level crossing.

“Now that I know what it was, I feel chilled to the bone. She must have been in so much pain.”

Witnesses or anyone with information about the incident should call 101.