Spontaneous human combustion: Woman bursts into flames on park bench in Germany

She is thought to be in a critical condition in hospital

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The Independent Online

A woman was left fighting for her life after apparently bursting into flames on a park bench in Germany.

According to the Flensburger Tagesblatt and The Local, fire and smoke emerged from the woman, who is believed to be in her 40s and originally from Mauritius, as she sat on a bench in Flensburg, northern Germany.

She has reportedly been left severely burned, despite the best efforts of a passer-by who tried to beating out the blaze with his jacket. 

Witnesses at the scene told local media the woman "did not say anything" as the flames engulfed her.

She was taken to hospital and has since been transferred to a specialist burns unit in Lübeck, where she is said to be in a critical condition.

Some reports claimed that the woman has died. However this could not be confirmed.

According to The Local, prosecutors are currently keeping an open mind as to the cause of the incident. Prosecutor Ulrike Stahlmann-Liebelt reportedly said they have not ruled out suicide.

One witness claimed to have seen two men fleeing the scene shortly before the incident. 

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However, according to the IB Times, Flensburg public prosecutor Otto Gosch said: “We have no evidence that points to a third party fault.”

The Mail Online also discussed Spontaneous Human Combustion –  a term used to describe the body going up in flames with no “apparent external source of ignition”.