Mumbai sets no-selfie zones as deaths linked to selfies rise

MUMBAI, India — Look around in any major Indian city, and you will find someone with an arm outstretched, mobile phone in hand, smiling widely and clicking away.

See Full Article

Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embraced the medium, posting pictures online he's snapped with various world leaders.

But the pursuit of the most epic selfie can have lethal consequences.

India is home to the highest number of people who have died while taking photos of themselves, with 19 of the world's 49 recorded selfie-linked deaths since 2014, according to San Francisco-based data service provider Priceonomics. The statistic may in part be due to India's sheer size, with 1.25 billion citizens and one of the world's fastest-growing smartphone markets.

Alarmed by the trend, Mumbai has declared 16 no-selfie zones across the city, as authorities warn people against taking unnecessary risks.

Earlier this month, an 18-year-old college student on a class picnic lost his balance while taking a selfie atop a rock near a dam near the central Indian city of Nashik. He fell into the water and drowned, along with a classmate who jumped in to try and save him.

Last month, an 18-year-old woman fell and drowned in the sea while taking a photo of herself at Mumbai's Bandstand Fort, a popular tourist spot.

An engineering student sustained fatal head injuries when a rock he was standing cracked and sent him tumbling. He'd been trying to take a selfie with friends in front of the Kolli Hills in Tamil Nadu.

And in January 2014, three students aged 20 to 22 died when they stopped to take a photo with a speeding train approaching, and were hit. They'd been on their way to visit the Taj Mahal.

In Mumbai, police have declared selfies off-limits in areas perceived as risky — particularly along the coastline in spots with no railings or barriers. Anyone venturing into off-limits areas, even if they take no photos, risks being slapped with a fine of 1,200 rupees, or about $18.

After the woman's death last month, the city's police conducted a survey to identify such dangerous places, police official Dhananjay Kulkarni said. The city also plans to run an awareness campaign.

Despite clearly marked signs demarking the selfie-free zones, people can still be seen clicking away, and often going to the edges or standing on ledges to get the most thrilling shots.

"When you are traveling alone, and do not have anyone to take your pictures, then it's only selfie," said Murtuza Rangwala, a student in Mumbai.

Mumbai psychologist Keerti Sachdeva said she doesn't expect the constant pursuit of selfies to end any time soon, saying one probable reason is the need for acceptance and love.

"You know people have this sort of feeling in adolescent age, especially that they need to get this acceptance from everyone, that I am a smart person, I am a good-looking person," Sachdeva said. "So for acceptance and recognition they are indulging in taking of selfies."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 'Your son is alive'; California father buries wrong man after coroner’s mistake

    World News Toronto Sun
    SANTA ANA, Calif. — Eleven days after laying his son to rest, Frank J. Kerrigan got a call from a friend. “Your son is alive,” he said. “Bill (Shinker) put my son on the phone,” Kerrigan said. Source
  • Al Capone's song, pocket watch fetch over $100K at auction

    World News Toronto Sun
    BOSTON — Artifacts connected to some of the nation’s most notorious gangsters sold for more than $100,000 at auction Saturday. A diamond pocket watch that belonged to Al Capone and was produced in Chicago in the 1920s, along with a handwritten musical composition he wrote in Alcatraz in the 1930s, were among the items that sold at the “Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen” auction. Source
  • Venezuelan protesters, security forces clash at air base

    World News CTV News
    CARACAS, Venezuela -- Young protesters broke down a metal fence guarding an air base in Caracas on Saturday before being repelled by security forces firing tear gas in another day of anti-government protests in Venezuela's capital. Source
  • Venezuelan president's opponents lay siege to air base

    World News CBC News
    Young protesters broke down a metal fence guarding an air base in Caracas on Saturday before being repelled by security forces firing tear gas in another day of anti-government protests in Venezuela's capital. Demonstrators threw stones, and some protesters were injured. Source
  • Lots to be proud of on Canada's 150th

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    So this great country of ours Canada is about to turn 150. Well, happy sesquicentennial to us. Although, it was a lot easier to pronounce “centennial” 50 years ago. And what a great year that was. Bobby Gimby sang, “Canada – now we are 20 million. Source
  • Race was a factor in St. Louis black officer mistakenly shot by white cop: lawyer

    World News CTV News
    An off-duty black St. Louis police officer's race factored into him being mistakenly shot by a white officer who didn't recognize him after a shootout with black suspects this week, the wounded officer's lawyer contends. Source
  • Labatt celebrates 170 years of heritage ahead of Canada's 150th [Photos]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    If any nation knows how to quaff a cold one, it has to be Canada. Our famous brew is one of the most coveted drinks in the world. It’s part of our nationalistic identity, and we’re proud of it! Source
  • Four-year-old boy is dead after being hit by car

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    EDMONTON - Edmonton Police say a four-year-old boy died in hospital after he was hit by a vehicle on 44A Avenue near 35 Street around 8:15 p.m. on Friday. Traffic section officers are investigating, but no charges are pending. Source
  • 34 U.K. high-rises have unsafe siding: Officials

    World News Toronto Sun
    LONDON — The scope of Britain’s fire-safety crisis broadened Saturday as London officials scrambled to evacuate four public housing towers due to concerns about external cladding, fire doors and insulation around gas pipes. Hundreds of residents hastily packed their bags and sought emergency shelter, with many angry and confused about the chaotic situation. Source
  • Video of Quebec history float goes viral amid allegations of racism

    Canada News CBC News
    A float in Montreal's Fête nationale parade Saturday quickly prompted widespread rebuke online with some attendees calling it racist. The float went along St. Denis Street carrying singer Annie Villeneuve and a pianist, along with a billboard that said "Once upon a time…" in French. Source