An elderly woman died after accidentally setting herself on fire.
Tragedy struck in Yecla, a town located in the southeastern Spanish region of Murcia, on August 10, as the Mediterranean country was experiencing the third heatwave of the summer.
A 71-year-old woman, whose identity hasn’t yet been shared, soaked parts of her body in alcohol in a bid to cool herself off.
On the day of the horrific incident, weather forecasters had warned temperatures could reach highs of 45C in Murcia.
Soon after resorting to the old-fashioned remedy to lower her body’s temperature, however, the woman lit a cigarette and set herself aflame by mistake when her skin wet with alcohol came into contact with fire.
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The combustion caused serious burns on her body and, despite being rushed to the Virgen de Arrixaca Hospital, the elderly woman didn’t survive the incident.
After her death on Thursday last week, the woman’s body was taken to the Institute of Forensic Medicine for an autopsy.
This isn’t the first death of this kind. In June 2019, an 86-year-old woman lost her life after she had doused part of her body in alcohol.
Much as it happened to the woman in Murcia, the elderly lady was set on fire by a spark.
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The woman, from the Italian city of Arezzo, in Tuscany, was helped by firefighters and paramedics who took her to hospital.
However, her burns were so serious doctors could do nothing to save her life.
The use of cologne and other types of alcoholic substances – such as rosemary alcohol, has been considered for years a traditional remedy against the heat.
However, as it exposes the body to the risk of flammability, people are strongly discouraged from adopting this method.
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The incident in Murcia happened as Spain’s weather agency, AEMET, had issued yet another red alert for extreme heat in the region.
Temperatures on the day of the death of the 71-year-old elderly woman ramped up well over 40C.
Last week, AEMET recorded temperatures hitting 44C and even 45C in several locations.
Montoro, a municipality in the Cordoba province, reached 45.3C on Friday.
Spain is one of the European countries that have been battling sweltering temperatures for weeks.
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