A DESPERATE job seeker set himself alight outside a Birmingham Jobcentre in an alleged row over his benefit payments.
Horrified eyewitnesses saw the man douse himself in flammable liquid after tying himself to railings at the Jobcentre Plus in Harborne Lane, Selly Oak, at around 9.20am.
Cops rushed to the aid of the 48-year-old man and sprayed him with fire extinguishers after he suffered burns to his lower legs.
The building remained closed throughout the day and claimants were told that payments would be made directly to banks. One eyewitness, who did not want to be named, said: “The guy came into the Jobcentre with petrol and made threats, so they evacuated the whole building.
**REACTION: OUTRAGE AND SHOCK AS MAN SETS FIRE TO HIMSELF OUTSIDE BIRMINGHAM JOB CENTRE**
I think it was something to do with a payment he had not received.
“He tied himself to the railings and tore open the bottom of his trousers. You could smell the fumes from the liquid he used, but the police arrived by the time he had set himself alight and they managed to put him out quite quickly.
“He would have to have been very desperate to have done something like that.
“It’s shocking that somebody could have been driven to those depths.”
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A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said: “Officers were called at around 9.18am to reports that a man had tied himself to railings and was threatening to set himself on fire.
“The man doused himself in liquid and set himself alight.