Man uses home-made flamethrower to set relatives on fire

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Map highlighting location of the state of Styria.
Image: Jensens.

An Austrian man is in jail after authorities say he used a flamethrower to burn his two elderly in-law parents to death as they slept in their home located in Hartberg in the state of Styria.

The man, 48, is said to have first doused the bedroom with gasoline and then used a canister filled with propane to light the room on fire.

The victims, a woman and man in their 80's, were sleeping when the suspect lit them on fire. The woman was bed ridden due to advanced diabetes and had previously had her legs amputated, and died where she slept. Her husband was able to escape where authorities found him dead, lying on a bench in the couple's garden.

The suspect left the scene of the crime, but was apprehended by police shortly after the incident. In the process, the man stabbed himself in the stomach in an apparent suicide attempt. He is currently in a drug induced coma at a local hospital.

Police are investigating the incident to determine a motive.