More deaths by selfies are occurring as an Indian student from the south Indian region of Tamil Nadu has been struck by a train and killed after he attempted to take a selfie, or “killfie,” in front of the oncoming train. The first year engineering student, S. Gunasekharan, aged 21, was on his way home in the early hours of the morning after celebrating New Year’s Day when he decided to take the selfie.
RT have said that Gunasekharan saw the train coming and tried to snap a quick selfie, but was struck and killed instantly by the train, with his body being thrown 100 feet. An autopsy is set to be conducted at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital.
The number of people killed while taking selfies continues to rise around the world, and yesterday’s death of the Indian student who was struck by a train while taking a selfie is not an isolated incident. There is even a new name for this phenomenon of death which happens as a result of taking selfies in dangerous situations, and they are being referred to as “killfies.” In fact, Mashable even noted that more people died from selfies than from shark attacks in 2015.
A Carnegie Mellon University study that was conducted in 2016 showed that 127 people had been killed worldwide as a result of “killfies” and 76 of those deaths took place in India. The study was entitled “Me, Myself and My Selfie: Characterizing and Preventing Selfie Deaths.”
In the abstract to the Carnegie Mellon University study on selfies and death, they state that Google has estimated that “a staggering 24 billion selfies were uploaded to Google Photos in 2015.” They note that the phenomenon has grown so massively that Oxford Dictionary chose “selfie” as their word of the year in 2013.
As the Indian man who was struck and killed by a train while taking a selfie will show, many people now will choose to put themselves at risk in order to take the perfect selfie or “killfie.” This has grown to such an extent that authorities in Russia have begun to put up public posters in dangerous locations to make people aware of the risks involved with taking selfies in these places.
Mumbai police have done a similar thing, but have gone one step further by declaring 16 zones around Mumbai as “no-selfie zones.”
— RT (@RT_com) June 24, 2016
Another public death that resulted from taking a selfie, or “killfie,” happened when a young man, Shivam Gupta, chose to wade into the turbulent waters of the Ganges River. Gupta and his group of friends were bathing on a platform of the Ganges Barrage Bridge that was partially submerged, and Shivam tried to take a selfie in the raging waters. He was unfortunately dragged away by a heavy current and killed. While his brother and six friends attempted to save him, they were also swept away to their deaths, as RT reported.
India is not the only country that is seeing a large number of selfie-related deaths, however, as a 19-year-old man from Texas took a selfie with a gun to post on his Instagram account and died as a result. And in Russia, two soldiers decided to take a selfie while posed beside a live grenade. While the two did not live, their phone and the selfie did survive.
Other deaths by selfies include a Spanish man who wanted to run with the bulls in Pamplona and tried to get a shot of himself and the bulls while sprinting down the street, and a Japanese man who attempted to take a selfie while walking down the stairs of the Taj Mahal, but plummeted to his death instead.
Al Jazeera suggested that everyone follow the advice of an aide to Russia’s interior minister, who described the perils of selfies and how common sense should be employed before snapping these shots.
“Before taking a selfie, everyone should think about the fact that racing after a high number of ‘likes’ could lead him on a journey to death and his last extreme photo could turn out to be posthumous.”
Do you think selfies have become more dangerous as time goes on, and is there anything more that authorities can do to help prevent deaths from selfies, or “killfies,” from happening?
[Featured Image by Chris McGrath/Getty Images]