Two Russian firefighters are out of a job after they posed for a selfie in front of a burned-out shopping center where more than a dozen people died.
The incident took place in Kazan, in central Russia, where a fire broke out inside a busy shopping center. The blaze left 55 people injured and 17 dead.
Ilya Bykov, 30, and Rostislav Krylov, 28, were among the firefighters called to the scene to battle the blaze. The two stopped to take a picture of themselves in their full gear while behind them the fire raged on.
The firefighter selfie was uploaded to VKontakt, the Russian version of Facebook.
It was met with an almost immediate backlash, with many people leaving angry comments.
“It makes me sick to think that while those poor people were burning to death these two were treating it as some sort of joke. Shame on them,” one person wrote.
After the controversy, the firefighters lost their jobs, and the Regional Emergency Situations Department condemned their decision to take a picture in front of a building where people were dying.
“Most to the emergency workers called to the scene did their job competently and efficiently,” a spokesperson said. ‘These two are not characteristic of those who work hard every day, tirelessly saving lives.”
They are not the only ones to get in trouble for an ill-timed selfie. Paramedic Tatiana Kulikova was fired from her job after posting selfies of herself with sick patients in the background and degrading captions.
In one picture she held up a middle finger at a patient, while a different photo of a patient had the caption that read “Another moron.”
“(Police) received a copy of the photo which depicted the victim sitting in the chair with a gunshot wound to the face,” a police report noted. “It also depicts a black male taking the ‘selfie,’ with his face facing the camera and the victim behind the actor. The photo had the name ‘Maxwell’ across the top.”
District Attorney John Peck said the teen’s selfie was something he’d never seen before in his 30-year career.
“I’ve never seen it before,” Peck said, “but it was a key piece of evidence that led investigators to the defendant.”
The firefighters who took a selfie in front of a building where 17 people died may have more trouble than just losing their jobs. Authorities say they may pursue criminal charges against the two.
[Image via VKontakt]