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Heavily in debt, Chinese gambler ignites gas can in bedroom but survives with severe burns

A man in eastern China who was addicted to gambling and owed debts of more than 100,000 yuan (HK$116,250) attempted suicide by lighting a can of gas, causing severe burns, the Modern Express reports.

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The man, surnamed Yu, 39, took a can of gas to his bedroom in his second-storey apartment in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, and lit it on Monday last week, causing a loud explosion, the report said.

Police said two windows were blown about 10 metres from the building where the man lived. Property in his room was severely burned after the explosion and a lighter was found in the room.

Yu divorced from his wife 20 years ago, shortly after they were wed. He remarried two years ago but his second wife left him and took most of his property soon after their marriage.

Yu became addicted to gambling and owed more than 100,000 yuan, according to his neighbours.

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Debt collectors came to his place on an almost daily basis and his friends, knowing Yu had no stable income, refused to lend him money. Yu had told one of his neighbours “there’s no point living”.

Yu, who suffered from burns to more than 30 per cent of his body, is no longer in danger of dying but remains under the care of the emergency department, as his family is not willing to pay for long-term treatment and transfer him to another department, citing unbearable medical expenses.

The hospital has asked the police to contact Yu’s family to resolve the situation.