A man who chopped off his own hand then set it alight is recovering in hospital in Plymouth. Police and ambulance crews raced to a house in Ogwell, Devon, after reports that a 44-year-old resident was going to harm himself with a knife. Officers arrived at the scene to find the man had hacked off his hand, tossed it into a rubbish bin - then set it ablaze.
They kicked over the bin and plucked out the charred remains of the severed limb but it was too badly burnt to be saved. The man was taken to Derriford Hospital after the macabre incident at 1:40pm on Monday where he is believed to be recovering. A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: "He looked deathly pale but he was conscious.
"He had a bandage around his arm. We saw some blood. The poor chap did look very drained." South Western Ambulance Service said the casualty was treated for "hand and wrist injuries" before being taken to hospital. Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed officers attended because of concerns over the man's welfare.
A spokesman said: "Police received a call from the ambulance service to say a man had cut his hand off. We were concerned he might have a knife and be a risk to himself or others. Units attended and upon arrival a 44-year-old man had indeed cut his hand off. He was otherwise rational. The hand was badly burnt and was in a bin. Officers attempted to save the hand but it was badly damaged."