A 43-year-old North Carolina man burned to death after accidentally drinking from a jar containing gasoline and then trying to smoke a cigarette.
Police say Gary Allen Banning burst into flames after the cigarette ignited some of the liquid he had spilled on his clothes.
Investigators say Banning was at a friend's apartment in Havelock, North Carolina, when he apparently mistook a jar of gasoline sitting by the kitchen sink for a glass of water.
Realizing his mistake he immediately spit out the gas, but some of it spilled onto his clothes. Sometime later, he went outside to smoke a cigarette and burst into flames.
'It was just a freak incident,' said WK Preslar, investigator with the Havelock Police Department. Preslar said Mr Banning was visiting his friend, a mechanic who had used the gasoline to help clean the grease from his hands.
He said Mr Banning accidentally drank the gasoline that was stored in a salsa jar near a kitchen sink. The man, who has not been named, attempted to extinguish the flames as fire-crews raced to the scene.
Mr Banning was rushed to the Carolina East Medical Center in New Bern and later to the UNC Burn Center with what police described as severe burns to his body.
Police said they are investigating Mr Banning's death but do not suspect foul play.
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