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."


Latest Canada & World News

  • N.L. premier, aboriginal leaders make progress after Muskrat Falls meeting

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Premier Dwight Ball met for more than 10 hours with indigenous leaders as protesters continued to besiege the delayed Muskrat Falls hydro project in Labrador. Ball says the province and leaders from the Innu Nation, the Nunatsiavut Government and the NunatuKavut Community Council made significant progress in resolving issues surrounding planned flooding of the Muskrat Falls reservoir. Source
  • Gambia becomes third country to announce departure from ICC

    World News CTV News
    DAKAR, Senegal - A third African country, Gambia, says it will leave the International Criminal Court as fears grow of a mass pullout from the body that pursues some of the world's worst atrocities. Gambia announced the decision on television Tuesday night, accusing the court of unfairly targeting Africa and calling it the "International Caucasian Court. Source
  • Aboriginal, environmental groups to sue Canada over Petronas LNG project

    Canada News CBC News
    Aboriginal and environmental groups will file lawsuits on Thursday against the government of Canada to overturn the permit for a controversial $27 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in British Columbia. The lawsuits will name Malaysian state oil firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), which owns a majority stake in the project, as an associated party, representatives of the aboriginal and environmental groups told Reuters this week. Source
  • Vatican Cardinal George Pell questioned by police over historic abuse allegations

    World News CBC News
    Australian police flew to Rome to interview a top Vatican cardinal about allegations of sexual assault dating back decades, officials said Wednesday. Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis's top financial adviser and one of his most trusted aides, has long been dogged by allegations he mishandled cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and later Sydney. Source
  • Aussie man charged with attempted murder in Miranda Kerr home attack

    World News CBC News
    Los Angeles prosecutors have charged an Australian man in an attack on a security guard outside supermodel Miranda Kerr's home earlier this month. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office says 29-year-old Shaun Anthony Haywood was charged with attempted murder, aggravated mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon on Tuesday. Source
  • Pope Francis’ top financial adviser, cardinal questioned over sex allegations

    World News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, Australia — Australian police flew to Rome to interview a top Vatican cardinal about allegations of sexual assault dating back decades, officials said Wednesday. Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’ top financial adviser and one of his most trusted aides, has long been dogged by allegations he mishandled cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and later Sydney. Source
  • L.A. man with arsenal charged with making threats to Islamic centre

    World News CBC News
    A Los Angeles man found with multiple weapons and hundreds of pounds of ammunition in his home was charged with making terrorist threats to the Islamic Center of Southern California, authorities announced Tuesday. Mark Lucian Feigin was arrested last week on the charge, which has been designated as a hate crime, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Source
  • Homeless sue Denver over sweeps of encampments

    World News Toronto Sun
    DENVER — When Jerry Burton’s sleeping bag and tent were removed by city workers from his campsite near a rapidly developing area close to downtown Denver, he was able to start over again with backup gear he keeps hidden for emergencies — whether his or someone else’s. Source
  • Cold Lake private Christian school shut down over alleged $1 million mismanagement [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A Christian school board in Cold Lake was shut down Tuesday after financial irregularities were discovered, including directing nearly $1 million to a third party that was allegedly spending public cash on liquor, parties and gift cards. Source
  • Calgary top cop on the defensive, again, after damning 2013 workplace review surfaces

    Canada News CBC News
    Calgary's police chief is on the defensive after a three-year-old workplace review has surfaced showing a culture of bullying, harassment, intimidation and retaliation. The 29-page redacted document outlines a police service that some viewed as an "Old Boys Network," including interviews which revealed instances of workplace bullying and harassment involving men and women. Source