A seven-year-old boy is fighting for his life after being set on fire in a city street as his friends played with a can of petrol.
The child, named by police as Preston Flores, was turned into a ‘human fireball’ after being doused in petrol yesterday afternoon.
He suffered more than 70 per cent burns after a group of youngsters reportedly took a canister from the back of a truck parked in Bedford Avenue, Aberdeen.
Police investigating the incident say there is no evidence so far that it was a deliberate act amid reports the accident could have happened after a prank went wrong.
Chief inspector Nick Topping, the local Police Scotland area commander, said: ‘We are grateful for the continued assistance we have received from the local community to help us piece together the events leading up to this incident.
‘We have spoken to a number of residents about what they saw or heard which has been very helpful and important to our inquiry.
‘I can confirm that the young boy who was injured is seven-year-old Preston Flores. We can advise that he was transferred last night from Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital to the ITU unit at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.
‘We understand he is still in a critical condition.
‘Our investigation into this tragic incident will continue today and I would reiterate that so far there has been no evidence of any deliberate act.’
Witnesses described seeing a boy ‘on fire from the neck down’ running into the middle of the street, screaming in agony.
Victoria Pirie, 17, “It was just horrid. He was on fire from the neck downwards, his clothes were sticking to him
‘They weren’t really big but they were enough to do a lot of damage to him”
Another witness said someone handed the boy a bucket a water which he poured over himself in an attempt to put out the flames.