More than 30 people worldwide have lost their lives to death by selfie since 2014
Officials in Mumbai have banned visitors to some of the most popular tourist attractions in India’s most populous city from taking selfies, in a move to curtail accidental deaths that occur to visitors striking a pose in unsafe spaces.
Among the sites now selfie-free are the Marine Drive promenade and the Girgaum Chowpatty beach, where last week an 18-year-old girl drowned. The woman, along with two others, had slipped into the water while taking a picture. Another man, a professional diver, managed to rescue two of the women, but lost his own life trying to save the third.
Only a day later, according to reports, people were back taking selfies in the sea, despite most of the area being roped off while the search for the woman’s body continued.
The Mumbai Police Commissioner, Ahmed Javed, has said that signs banning selfies will be erected at 16 places around the city, many of which are based around the Arabian Sea. Officials are also hoping to install lifeguard stations at the sites.
Death by selife is a relatively new phenomenon, with the first recorded instances dating from as recently as 2014. More than 30 people around the world have been reported to have perished while posing, including eager snappers who’ve shot themselves in the head, been gored by bison, electrocuted, or by falling from great heights in an effort to capture the perfect moment.
In July last year, police in Russia distributed an information pamphlet to would-be selfie photographers after the number of injuries related to the practice reached 100. And in September, Indian officials outlawed selfies at the Kumbh Mela, a two-month long festival that sees as many as 120m participants, for fear that bottlenecks would lead to a deadly stampede.