Mumbai considers ‘no selfie zones’ after drowning

Sixteen dangerous spots identified in Indian city and patrolling officers briefed to warn people against taking selfies.

selfie racing
Spectators cheer and take selfies at a dangerous spot at the Dakar Rally [AFP]

Mumbai police have identified 16 dangerous selfie spots across the Indian city and may introduce “no selfie zones” after a man drowned trying to save a girl who fell into the sea while taking a photo of herself.

The girl and two friends fell off rocks into the Arabian Sea near Bandra Bandstand in the north of India’s financial capital while taking selfies on Saturday.

A passer-by, 37-year-old Ramesh Walanju, jumped in and helped save the two friends but was washed away by the choppy waters, and his body was found floating in a nearby creek on Monday.

The 18-year-old girl is still missing.

The dangerous selfie spots identified by the police include the major tourist attractions of Girgaum Chowpatty beach and Marine Drive promenade as well as the site where the girl slipped, according to police.

“After the unfortunate incident, we have decided to identify 16 spots where taking selfies can be dangerous, but we may add more,” deputy commissioner Dhananjay Kulkarni told the AFP news agency.

“We have written to the municipal corporation to put some warning signs up at such points. We also want them to deploy some lifeguards.”

Police officers patrolling the selected areas have been briefed to warn people against taking selfies. But Kulkarni added that official “no selfie spots” may be introduced if those precautions fail to deter those visiting the areas.

Selfie hazards

Last year, Russian police launched a campaign urging people to take safer selfies after about 100 people were injured and dozens died in gruesome accidents while striking high-risk poses in 2015.

“A cool selfie could cost you your life,” the interior ministry warned in a leaflet packed with tips such as “a selfie with a weapon kills”.

Twelve people were reported killed in selfie-related accidents last year – more deaths than people killed by shark attacks.

A 66-year-old Japanese tourist died, and his travel companion was injured, after falling down stairs while attempting to take a selfie at the Taj Mahal last year.

In December, a Pakistani man died in Rawalpindi after being hit by a fast-moving train as he tried to take a selfie with it while standing on the track.

Last May, a Russian woman accidentally shot herself in the head with a pistol while posing for a selfie with the weapon.

And US investigators in February said a pilot’s repeated snapping of selfie photos caused a small plane to crash, killing both people on board.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies