The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of a man who somehow became engulfed in flames Thursday at the West Hollywood Carnaval and later succumbed to his injuries, officials said.
Gilbert Estrada, 51, was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Thursday and pronounced dead Friday morning, according to Lt. Cheryl MacWillie of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
The sheriff’s homicide unit is investigating Estrada’s death, said Deputy Irys Alvarez. It is unclear whether the incident was an accident or a crime, she said.
A video of the incident posted on YouTube shows a person engulfed in flames next to a crowd standing near a performance stage playing music. Someone can be heard saying, “He’s on fire!” as people move in to help the man, whose pants appeared to have caught fire.
When the flames are out, several people can be heard heckling the man, asking what he was doing, as he lies shirtless on the ground. The crowd begins to shout and dance again around the man, who remains motionless.
The department is asking for the public’s assistance in determining the source of ignition or how the victim caught fire. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
A total of 46 people were transported to local hospitals during the annual event Thursday evening, sheriff’s Sgt. Tressa Gunnels said Friday. About 75 calls went out for medical service, she said.
Four people were arrested as more than 300,000 revelers strolled down Santa Monica Boulevard, authorities said. More than 50 performers were scheduled on six stages along the route.