Four members of family drown trying to take selfie in river: A look at 5 recent selfie deaths

At least 259 people died between October 2011 and November 2017 while taking selfies.
At least 259 people died between October 2011 and November 2017 while taking selfies.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - A report published in October 2018 found that at least 259 people died between October 2011 and November 2017 while taking selfies.

The study, published in India's Journal Of Family Medicine And Primary Care, found that the increase over the years was linked to smartphones becoming more sophisticated and selfie sticks increasing the range at which people can snap photos of themselves, prompting them to take bigger risks for the perfect shot.

On Monday (Oct 7), police in India said that a newly married woman and three other family members were swept away and drowned while trying to take a selfie in a fast-flowing river in southern India.

Here is a list of five other recent selfie deaths.

1. India

In May 2019, three teenagers were killed while taking selfies on a railway track.

According to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report, police said that a fourth teenager jumped to safety just before the accident in Panipat city in the northern state of Haryana on May 1.

"The victims were busy taking selfies and when they saw a train approaching, they jumped to a second track without realising another train was coming (towards them) on that (track)," an eyewitness told AFP.

2. United States 

An Indian couple fell 245m to their death in Yosemite National Park, California, in November 2018. They were apparently taking a selfie, according to a family member and media reports.

 

Mr Vishnu Viswanath, 29, and Ms Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, died after falling from Taft Point - a popular overlook at the park that does not have a railing - and their bodies were recovered by park rangers.

3. Portugal 

In June 2018, an Australian couple fell to their death from a 40m wall overlooking a popular tourist beach in Portugal, apparently losing their balance after taking a selfie, an official said.

 

The head of rescue service told AFP at the time that it seemed they had dropped their mobile phone and fell down while leaning over the wall to retrieve it.

4. Peru 

In July 2016, Peruvian police found the body of a South Korean tourist who died after falling from the top of a 500m waterfall in the Amazon jungle.

 

AFP said the man fell after looking for a good place to take a selfie at the Gocta waterfall, in north-eastern Peru.

5. Pakistan

 In 2016, an 11-year-old girl drowned after falling into Kunhar River in northern Pakistan while attempting to take a selfie, and both her parents died trying to save her, officials said.

 

The river flows through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, at a hilly tourist spot in Beesian village, some 200km north of Islamabad.

The deep, rocky and fast-flowing river is popular for whitewater rafting.