Inocencia L.P. from Almassora in Castellón, Valencia, set light to herself in her branch of the Caixa bank, which resulted in her suffering burns on 48% of her body.
Why did she do it? Out of desperation at being overwhelmed by debt. The 47-year-old is married but separated and has three children, two of them adults.
The Guardia Civil received a call at 12.43h on Monday the 17th from the 112 emergency service, alerting them to what had happened on Avenida José Ortiz – the woman had walked into the bank and then covered herself with an inflammable liquid, thought to be gasoline and set light to herself.
A Guardia Civil policeman was injured when he covered her with his own body to smother the flames. As she lay on the floor, still conscious, she sobbed, “Look what you’ve done to me. You’ve taken everything from me.”
Neighbours say that she was in the process of being evicted from her home. Apparently, she had two flats, both totally paid for but had obtained a villa using the flats as a guarantee, but after five years of being unemployed, she lost the villa and the two flats. She had been existing on a disability allowance of 300 euros.
As to whether it is true that the bank took all of her properties, neither the bank director of Caix Almassora, Jorge Mallol, nor the staff at the branch would confirm. In fact, Mr Mallol, when asked by reporters, said that he had “more important things to attend to.”
An ambulance rushed her to the municipal football ground where a helicopter was waiting to take her to the central hospital in Valencia.
(News: Castellon, Valencia)