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Death of man who set himself on fire outside Kensington Palace 'not suspicious'

Published 09/02/2016

Forensic officers search an area where a man was found on fire near Kensington Palace
Forensic officers search an area where a man was found on fire near Kensington Palace

A man has died after setting himself on fire outside Kensington Palace in the early hours of Tuesday.

Discovered alight at around 3am by police, the man, believed to be in his forties, was pronounced dead at 3.42am - despite efforts to save him by the London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade.

As forensics officers inspected the scene, a green fuel container, a fire extinguisher and a number of personal items could be seen - before being carried away in evidence bags.

Officers were called to the park, close to the London home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, after receiving reports a man was behaving suspiciously.

It is understood that the incident is not being treated as suspicious, and no-one else was thought to be involved.

A spokesman for the Met said officers were called by a central London hospital at just after midnight on Tuesday after a man in their care had failed to return.

He added: "Police carried out inquiries to trace this missing man at his home address and two associated addresses but the man, aged in his forties, was not present.

"Subsequently, police in Kensington and Chelsea were called to an area near the locked parks of Kensington Palace at 3.06am following reports of a man behaving suspiciously.

"Officers attended and found a man, believed to be aged in his forties, ablaze.

"Inquiries are ongoing. This incident is not being treated as terrorist-related."

It is understood a post mortem and the formal identification of his body is yet to be carried out and established. Police are in the process of informing his family.

A spokesman for the royal family confirmed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were not in the palace on Tuesday. They are believed to have been in Norfolk at the time of the incident.

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