A teenager with critical burns to his upper body and face told police he was doused in petrol and set alight on the Gold Coast.
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after the injured 18-year-old made his way to a person’s front door on Wardoo Street, Southport, pleading for help about 7:45am (local time).
A Queensland Police Service (QPS) spokesman said it was unclear where the incident occurred, but the man’s silver Toyota Camry with NSW number plate BM 52 VZ was discovered parked on Baratta Street, which runs off Wardoo Street.
“Initial investigation suggests someone has set him alight, but we don’t know that for sure, that is why we are appealing for witnesses to come forward,” the spokesman said.
Critical care paramedic Grant Gamble said they found the man with significant burns to his face, neck, back and shoulders.
“He was in a significant amount of pain,” he said.
“Our big concern was his airway. Unfortunately when burns occur sometimes the first thing people do is take a deep breath and that can burn the airway.”
Mr Gamble said it was possible an accelerant was used.
“It appears for those burns to occur and rapidly, I’d speculate that an accelerant was used. What accelerant I can’t say exactly,” he said.
The man was placed into an induced coma before being taken to the burns unit at the Royal Brisbane and Woman’s Hospital.
Police confirmed the incident was not Schoolies-related.
Anyone with information that could assist should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.