A 53-year-old man was left to burn to death in his car as passersby filmed the horrific scene rather than offering their help.
Businessman Premchand Jain, from the Riddhi-Siddhi Enclave in the Kunhari area of Kota, India, was driving to his factory at around 10am on Wednesday, October 30, when his car caught fire.
The incident took place on the Kota-Udaipur highway, and although other cars continued to pass, no one stopped to help Jain.
According to eyewitnesses, Jain’s car had broken down on the highway, but the 53-year-old managed to restart it and drive a few hundred metres before it started smoking, the New Indian Express reported.
Though the smoke acted as a warning, Jain was unable to escape the car as his central locking system stopped working. Flames quickly engulfed the car, burning him to death.
Devendra Gautam, Assistant Fire Officer at the Kota Municipal Corporation, said authorities received information about the incident around 10.25am, after which two firefighters rushed to the scene.
By the time the flames were doused, Jain’s body had been reduced to a skeleton.
Tragically, he could have avoided his awful death if onlookers had attempted help by smashing the window of the car and helping Jain out before he was engulfed by fire.
Instead, however, Gautam said they chose to film the incident on their mobile phones, likely to share footage of the wreck with friends and on social media.
An initial investigation suggested the fire was caused by a short-circuit.
Jain was identified by the license plate of the car in the aftermath of the incident. Samples of his body were collected for DNA tests and the victim underwent a postmortem before being released to his family members.
It’s unclear whether onlookers were aware of the man trapped inside the car when they were filming the scene, but it’s horrific to think anyone could be more focused on capturing content for the internet than helping another human who was in serious danger.
Hopefully the awful outcome of this incident will teach those who filmed it to be more aware and considerate to what’s going on around them.
Police have registered a case under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedures, related to suspicious deaths, for further investigation into the matter.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via its national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.