A MAN is in critical condition after being 'on fire' last night.

Police were called to a report of a missing person at around 9.30pm last night. Officers responding located the man, in his 60s, just minutes later in Castle Street, Worcester.

A short time later the man was seen to be 'on fire'. Officers immediately took steps to extinguish the fire and administer first aid. Support was then provided by ambulance and fire service colleagues. The man was taken to hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

The circumstances around the incident are being investigated by police but it is not being treated as a suspicious incident. Police are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact them on 101 quoting incident number 775 of April 11.

Det Insp Tony Garner of Worcester CID said: "This was a very unusual and highly distressing incident for all involved. Our thoughts are with the man and his family at this difficult time. We recognise the impact this incident has had on the attending emergency services responders, who are being provided with welfare support."

An eyewitness said he saw the man outside Castle Street Police station just before 10pm.

The witness said: "I know this is going to sound stupid but it looked as though there was a man on fire. About 10 police officers were standing around whatever it was that was on fire and were trying to douse him out. Then another police officer came out with a fire extinguisher. I saw a rapid response unit and a fire engine absolutely rushing through town to get there."

The man was treated for serious burn injuries at the scene by paramedics after West Midlands Ambulance Service sent two ambulances, a paramedic and a merit trauma doctor at 9.54pm.

A spokesman said he was given specialist trauma treatment at the roadside before being taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Firefighters from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service also went to Castle Street at 9.50pm but the fire had been put out before they arrived.