Authorities are investigating the death of a man who somehow became consumed in flames Thursday during a Halloween festival in a Los Angeles neighborhood and later died of his injuries.
Gilbert Estrada, 51, was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Thursday after mysteriously becoming engulfed in fire at the West Hollywood Carnaval, an annual Halloween street party that typically draws tens of thousands of people.
He was pronounced dead Friday morning, Lt. Cheryl MacWillie of the Los Angeles County coroner's office told the Los Angeles Times.
The sheriff's homicide unit is investigating Estrada's bizarre death, Deputy Irys Alvarez told the newspaper, adding that it was unclear whether the incident was an accident or a crime.
Video footage of the incident uploaded to YouTube shows a person in flames next to a crowd standing near a performance stage. Someone in the video can be heard saying, "He's on fire!" as people rush in to assist the man, whose pants appeared to have been covered in fire.
After the flames were put out, multiple people can be heard heckling the man. They ask what he was doing as he lies shirtless on the ground. That's when the crowd starts to shout and dance around the man, who seems to remain still.
The department is calling on the public for leads in identifying the source of the ignition or how Estrada caught fire, according to the newspaper.
Some 46 people were taken to local hospitals amid the event Thursday evening, the newspaper reported. And four people were arrested as some 300,000 festival-goers traversed Santa Monica Boulevard, the main thoroughfare of the carnival.
First published November 3 2013, 5:06 PM