Upset asylum seeker threatens to set himself on fire

Man, thought to be Iranian, pours petrol over himself but is overpowered before setting himself alight

A distraught man threatened to set himself on fire in the refugee appeals board offices in Copenhagen this afternoon.

According to Copenhagen Police, the man entered the lobby complaining that his application had been rejected before dousing himself in petrol and drawing a lighter.

Staff at the Flygtningenævnet were evacuated and the fire department, ambulance service and police were called in.

A group of negotiators specially trained to handle hostage and kidnap situations was also called to talk the man down.

According to Ritzau, the police got the man to surrender the lighter after negotiating with him armed with fire extinguishers and a shield.

Police eventually overpowered the man after a standoff that lasted just under an hour.

The man was not harmed in the incident and was taken to hospital where a Farsi interpreter was able to discern that he was from Iran.

“He will be cleaned up and taken care of,” Lars Christian Borg of the Copenhagen Police, told Politiken newspaper.

The Flygtningnævnet is an independent body tasked with judging appeals in cases of rejected applications for asylum.

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