Seemed like a good idea at the time?
Andrew Pimlott, 32, had doused himself in petrol and was threatening to kill himself when he was shot by the police with a stun gun and burst into flames. Petrol fumes, 50,000 volts , sparks, no concern for health & safety here but then police were not in danger.
Pimlott suffered serious burns and was rushed to hospital but died five days later.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is now investigating whether the Taser gun that was fired by police caused Mr Pimlott to suffer the fatal burns. ‘Allo’ ‘allo’ ‘allo’, surely a spontaneous combustion cause of death is not in the air.
Do you know an average of three people are shot with stun guns every day by police.
Anyway I digress, police were called to Mr Pimlott’s house in Plymouth, Devon, after a 999 call reporting a man in the garden with a can of flammable liquid, watch out you Barbecue fanatics.
Neighbours described hearing an ‘explosion’ after the incident and Mr Pimlott was rushed to hospital. He died on Tuesday at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol.
Jack Fry, 20, was with his friend Brett Griffiths, also 20, at a house backing onto the scene.
He said: “There were three screams. Brett opened the curtains and at first he thought the house was on fire.
“But then we saw a man, fully on fire, from top to bottom, like what you see on a film, with his arms swaying around.”
Mr Fry said he saw police jump on the burning man and put him on the floor, using a cover to try and put the flames out. Other neighbours said they heard an explosion.
Mr Pimlott was rushed to hospital after the incident on April 18th, where police said he had non-life threatening injuries. Oh well, they can’t be right every time.
But the IPCC has since revealed Mr Pimlott died of his injuries and will now investigate what information the officers knew about him before the taser was fired and the reason for using it.
Tasers, like other electric devices, have been found to ignite flammable materials. For this reason Tasers come with express instructions not to use them where flammable liquids or fumes may be present, such as filling stations and methamphetamine labs.
An evaluative study carried out by the British Home Office investigated the potential for Tasers to ignite CS gas. Seven trials were conducted, in which CS gas canisters containing methyl isobutyl ketone (a solvent in all CS sprays used by the United Kingdom police) were sprayed over mannequins wearing street clothing. The Tasers were then fired at the mannequins. In two of the seven trials, “the flames produced were severe and engulfed the top half of the mannequin, including the head”.