NYC straphanger set on fire from maniac’s flaming liquid in subway attack…

The man who was severely burned when a maniac tossed flaming liquid on him on the subway Saturday jumped in front of his fiancée to protect her, he told The Post from the hospital.

Petrit Alijaj, 23, was completely covered in bandages on his upper body as he lay down in his bed at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Hospital, still in shock from the random attack earlier in the day. 

Doctors told him he has burns on 30% of his body, and he expects to be holed up in the hospital for at least a week to recover.

Petrit Alijaj, 23, says he will be in the hospital for at least a week after a man threw burning liquid at him on the subway. Marie Pohl

It was worth it, he said, to protect his betrothed.

“I protect my fiancée with my body,” he told The Post.

He said he was in “not so much pain now,” which he attributed to the medicine he’d been given, but “before — oh my God.”

Alijaj suffered burns to his chest, neck, arms, ears and hand. Marie Pohl

Alijaj, who is originally from Albania, said he was sitting on the No. 1 train with his fiancée and his cousin on their way to visit the Statue of Liberty around 2:45 p.m. when they pulled into the Varick Street station in lower Manhattan.

The assailant, later identified as 49-year-old Nile Taylor, got on with a cup in his hand filled with some liquid. 

“He had a cup,” Alijaj said, as he pointed to a cup on his bedside table, “like this, maybe smaller, something inside, like oil, he made fire and he threw it all.”

He made a motion of tossing liquid from a cup to demonstrate

Alijaj ripped off his burning shirt as he ran off the train. William Farrington

Alijaj said he was able to turn his body to protect his fiancée and his cousin, who were sitting next to him.

His shirt caught fire and he immediately began slapping himself with his hands to douse the flames as he fled the train, he said.

“I touched myself to put out the fire,” he said.

Alijaj cooled off his burns with the help of an FDNY firefighter after the attack. William Farrington

“So while I was running I was burning,” the victim added.

Taylor also fled the train and Alijaj was concerned he’d return with more flammable liquid.

At some point, Alijaj managed to rip off his smoldering T-shirt. 

He didn’t think the burns were that bad at first, but said he realized he was covered in blisters when he arrived at the hospital with burns on his neck, ears, chest, arms and left hand.

After the episode, he was seen showering his burns in the cool water of an FDNY firetruck hose.

He told The Post that doctors were not sure yet how bad his burns were, saying they needed to determine “how deep the fire got into skin.” 

Nile Taylor, 49, was arrested by police five blocks away from the scene. William Farrington

“The doctors said 30% of my body was burnt,” he said.

“But I don’t think it is 30%,” he added optimistically, smiling. “Maybe more like 10%.”

The inside of Alijaj’s ear was covered with giant, painful-looking blisters at the hospital.

“I can still hear,” he told The Post proudly. 

Thank God, he said, his face is unscathed — he managed to cover it.

Alijaj said he’s been living in New York for about a year.

Taylor was arrested shortly after the attack after police tracked a cellphone that he had picked up off the platform while fleeing, police and sources said.

He was collared roughly five blocks away at Canal Street and Renwick Street, near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel.

Saturday’s attack is the second time in four months someone tossed flaming liquid at a straphanger following a similar incident in February.

Police are investigating whether Taylor was also responsible for that, police sources said.

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