Doctors in India are baffled by a 3-month-old baby who has spontaneously combusted four times since turning 9 days old.
Rahul, the 3-month-old from a village in Tamil Nadu, may be spontaneously combusting due to gases emanating from his skin, but doctors are unsure why the baby bursts into flames without an ignition source.
“It’s a really bad condition. It’s not even in textbooks,” a doctor at Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital in Chennai told IBN Live. “It’s spontaneous burns. If any burnt object starts near the baby, it will be very dangerous for the baby.”
Rahul needs to be kept in a climate-controlled room and away from flammable substances for fear that he may spontaneously combust.
“Doctors are saying they can’t do anything to cure him, but can only treat his injuries. I have lost everything. Government should come forward and help us,” Rahul’s father told the Indian television station.
Rahul is being kept under observation at KMCH as doctors try to determine why he keeps on spontaneously combusting. The first instance happened when he was nine days old. The phenomenon has recurred three times since then.
The 3-month-old boy underwent a battery of tests at the hospital. Doctors did not find any damage to his vital functions.
"We received some of the test results and the baby's liver and kidneys seem to be fine. X-ray results show no damage to his bones," Dr. Naranyana Babu, a pediatrician, told The Times of India.
Rahul’s blood, urine and sweat samples are also being examined to determine whether they contain any toxic substances.
"We'll get the results from a chromosome test by the end of the week," Babu said.
Meanwhile, villagers are spooked out by the spontaneously combusting baby, and have told Rahul’s parents to stay in a temple until their son is “cured” of evil spirits, according to The Times of India.
The boy’s grandfather, V Perumal, said he’s witnessed the boy spontaneously combust.
"I used to stay awake till 4 a.m. looking after the baby and then my wife would wake up and take over,” said Perumal, 75. "One night, within three days of [Rahul’s parents’] visit, we heard the baby scream and we found a sheet near the baby on fire. Fire soon engulfed the baby's head and neck. We doused it with water."