An upsetting situation which, for lack of better information, we're going to chalk up to possible mental illness or intoxication and an accident involving an open flame, unfolded on a BART train on Tuesday afternoon and was posted to TikTok. Welcome to July, 2020!
The video appears to show a woman holding a face mask in one hand and some sort of flaming object or gas torch in another. (She may have been attempting to light a cigarette or something else?) Her hair then catches on fire, and she dives into the seat to extinguish it, screaming, as an onlooker helps try to pat out the blaze.
Several passengers can be heard saying "Your hair was on fire." And someone, possibly the person taking the video, says, "What the fuck, man?"
BART rider and TikTok user Edgar Garcia Villanueva posted video of the incident to TikTok with the tagline (what else?) "Only in the Bay Area."
When the woman's hair catches fire, it appears there was already at least one man in a face mask trying to intervene or communicate with her. Both she and the man are standing as the train is moving.
BART spokesperson Jim Allison provided the official line to the Chronicle saying only, "She appears to have set her own hair on fire, and BART police says there does not appear to be any sort of assault committed by others."
The incident was reported Tuesday shortly after 5 p.m. to the station agent at El Cerrito del Norte Station, but the woman was never identified to BART police or the agent. The extent of the woman's injuries, or where she got off the train, are not known.
BART police say they are reviewing surveillance camera footage from the train, however the train route and approximate location where all this took place have not been publicly discussed.