Asylum seeker dies after suffering serious burns: Morrison


An asylum seeker living in the community in Geelong has died after suffering burns to 90 per cent of his body.

A Sri Lankan asylum seeker living in the community on a bridging visa in Geelong has died after suffering burns to 90 per cent of his body.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman says officers were called to a unit fire in inner suburban Newtown on Saturday morning following reports a man was on fire in the front yard.

It's believed the injuries were self-inflicted, she said.

Police are attempting to locate the man's next of kin and will prepare a report for the coroner.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the man was from Sri Lanka and arrived in Australia as an asylum seeker in January 2013. He was granted a bridging visa in May the same year.

"I have not yet been advised that his family has been notified [so] it is not appropriate to release his name or other details," he said. 

Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen said bystanders tried to help the man when he ran from the unit.

"He was seen running out into the street on fire. Bystanders have tried to douse the flames with water," Mr Mullen told AAP on Sunday.

He said the man suffered full thickness burns to most of his body and was flown from Geelong Hospital to The Alfred hospital in a critical condition.

The man, aged 25 to 30, died later on Saturday.

Mr Morrison said the man had burns to about 90 per cent of his body.

"There are many matters about this incident which are still not known at this time," he told reporters on Sunday.

The man was living in the community and receiving "necessary support".

The minister extended the government's sympathies to the man's friends and overseas-based family.

"The department and its Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme provider are working with the hospital and community, with members of the family also to make funeral arrangements and to contact the next of kin, none of whom are understood to be in Australia," he said.

"Those who were close to him in the community would be aware of this incident and they are also, to the extent that they are asylum seekers in the community on bridging visas, receiving the necessary support."

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

Source SBS, AAP

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