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Dubai: Authorities have denied rumours about a man caught on fire at Dubai Mall, after a video clip of the incident went viral on social media.    

The 58-second video clip shows the man’s T-shirt and jeans going up in flames while visitors and mall security personnel were frantically searching for a fire extinguisher to douse the flames. 

The video was quickly circulated among social networking sites in the Gulf, which also claimed that the shocking incident took place in Dubai Mall. 

On its social media accounts, Dubai Civil Defence explained that the incident did not take place anywhere in Dubai or any other place in the UAE.

Major-General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, director-general of Dubai Civil Defence, said that no incident of this kind was reported during the month of Ramadan.

“According to our records, there were no accidents of a man caught on fire at any shopping centre or commercial complex. Nothing of this sort happened in Dubai during Ramadan, or anywhere else in the UAE,” said Maj Gen Al Matroushi.

Jail sentence, Dh250,000 fine

“Residents should always verify the news first before re-sending it to friends and spreading them on social media,” he said. 

Police in Dubai also called on the public not to spread fake news, and pointed out that residents can face a jail sentence and a Dh250,000 fine for sharing unverified information. 

Major-General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs of Dubai Police, said: “We encourage residents not to circulate unverified information on social media. Anyone found guilty of spreading rumours and fake news can be jailed for up to three years and a Dh250,000 fine.”

According to online news sites, the accident happened in the city of Agadir in Morocco on June 3.

While some reports state that the fire was caused by a faulty mobile phone that exploded in the victim’s pocket, some Moroccan newspapers on Sunday reported that the man set himself alight after being caught stealing a pair of shoes from a shop — but these could not be independently verified.

“A 30-year-old man set himself on fire at the main entrance of the supermarket Marjane, on June 3. After local authorities arrived, the man was transported to Hassan II Hospital in Agadir with second- and third-degree burns,” reported Agadir24.info.