Newlywed and three teenage relatives drown trying to take selfie at reservoir

Fourteen-year-old boy slipped while posing for photo and pulled sisters under water with him, according to reports

Chris Baynes
Wednesday 09 October 2019 08:35
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Newlywed and three teenage relatives drown trying to take selfie at reservoir

A newly married woman and three teenage family members have reportedly drowned after falling into a reservoir while taking a selfie.

The victims were among a group of six people who stood in waist deep water and held hands to pose for the picture near Pambaru dam in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India, police said.

One of the group, a 14-year-old boy, is said to have lost his footing and slipped underwater, dragging his two sisters – aged 18 and 19 – with him. The newlywed woman and the groom’s sister, both 20, were also pulled in, according to The Times of India.

The groom, 24, who was taking the picture, managed to steady himself and rescue his sister but the other four disappeared underwater. Their bodies were later recovered and taken for post-mortem examinations.

The couple, who The Hindu reported had married last month, had been visiting relatives in the town of Uthangarai when the drownings occurred on Sunday.

The deaths are the latest in a series of tragedies linked to selfies in India, where authorities have launched campaigns to warn people against posing for perilous pictures.

India accounted for more than half of the 259 recorded deaths associated with selfies worldwide between 2011 and 2017, according to a study published last year. Many of the fatalities were caused by drowning, transport or falls.

Researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences suggested the country’s relatively young population and trend of group selfies could account for the high death toll.

Three youths were killed by a train while taking selfies on railway tracks in the northern state of Haryana in May.

Last month a 25-year-old woman reportedly fell woman 200ft to her death while taking a picture of herself on a clifftop in Gujarat, western India.

In 2017, the government of Karnataka state launched an online campaign warning that “selfies can kill”. The initiative, which involved authorities identifying danger zones at tourist hotspots, followed a string of selfie-related deaths.

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