Man on Fire on National Mall in Critical Condition
PHOTO: Scene where man sets self on fire at National Mall

A man who doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire on the National Mall this afternoon was in critical condition at an area hospital this evening.

D.C. police received a call at 4:24 p.m. reporting the incident, and the fire was out by the time authorities arrived at the scene.

The man was conscious and breathing when he was transported to a by helicopter to MedStar Hospital. He suffered burns on 80 percent of his body, a National Park Service official said.

This evening, MedStar Washington Hospital Center reported the man was in critical condition.

Nicole Didyk, an Federal Aviation Administration engineer who was running on the mall at the time of the incident, saw other runners using their shirts to put out the flames.

"I saw him charred and his face was white," Didyk told ABC News.

Police cars began arriving "from everywhere," said Megan van Heertum, who added that the mall "smelled like burning flesh."

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