Boy, 7, was set on fire in 'prank gone tragically wrong'

Eyewitnesses said they saw Preston Flores and other children take a petrol can from the back of a council van

A seven-year-old boy who is in a critical condition in hospital after being “set on fire” is thought to have been involved in a game that went “tragically wrong”.

Preston Flores suffered serious burns in the incident on Bedford Avenue, Aberdeen, at about 2pm on Friday.

He is believed to be the victim of a “a prank going tragically wrong” after he and a friend took a petrol can from the back of a council van and planned to light a fire, The Press and Journal reported.

Police Scotland confirmed that petrol was involved in the incident but said there is no evidence so far of any deliberate act.

Horrified eyewitnesses told of seeing the little boy engulfed in flames. A relative told the Daily Record that Preston and his friends had been “mucking about”.

She said: “They were just mucking about. His mates were chucking petrol on him. They had lighters and were sparking them.

“Next thing I know he’s running down the street screaming.

“I’ve never seen anything so horrible. The flames were covering his whole body.

“His clothes were half burned off him and half sticking to him. I was in floods of tears.”

A neighbour said she saw three boys and a girl jump onto the back of a council vehicle as she watched from her window.

“They were searching for something. I saw one with a container like a watering can,” she said.

“A few moments later the boys ran off, then I saw a boy with fire on him. There were kids with him, trying to put him on the ground.”

Preston was transferred from the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh overnight on Friday.

Chief inspector Nick Topping, the local Police Scotland area commander, said Saturday: “We are grateful for the continued assistance we have received from the local community to help us piece together the events leading up to this incident. We have spoken to a number of residents about what they saw or heard which has been very helpful and important to our inquiry.

“I can confirm that the young boy who was injured is seven-year-old Preston Flores. We can advise that he was transferred last night from Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital to the ITU unit at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

”We understand he is still in a critical condition.

“Our investigation into this tragic incident will continue today and I would reiterate that so far there has been no evidence of any deliberate act.”

He appealed for witnesses or anyone with information to contact police on 101.

Additional reporting by Press Association

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam