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Indian teenager killed by train while taking a selfie

A 16-year-old student has died southern India after trying to take a selfie with a speeding train in the background. India has reported several selfie-related deaths in recent weeks.

Indian officials confirmed on Monday that the teenager was on his way home from the zoo with friends when he was struck by a train outside Chennai on Sunday evening.

"Witnesses told us that he was on the edge of the platform when he was trying to take his selfie and was hit by the train," stationmaster M Sudhakar said. India has reported several selfie-related deaths in recent weeks.

Sunday's incident is just the latest in a string of deadly accidents involving selfies in India. In January, Mumbai police established 16 "no-selfie zones" after a university student fell into the sea and drowned while taking a photograph of herself on her phone. A man who jumped into the water to try and rescue her also drowned.

Earlier last month, a young man also fell to his death from the ramparts of a fort in northern India while taking a selfie.

"More youngsters are now addicted to taking selfies," railway police officer S. Ramuthai from the Chennai suburb of Tambaram told AFP news agency.

Dangerous trend

Selfie-related accidents are not confined to India, however. Last year a US a pilot was found responsible for crashing a small plane and killing both people on board after repeatedly taking selfies, while in a Russia, a woman accidentally shot herself in the head with a pistol while posing for a selfie with the weapon.

In December, German national rail company Deutsche Bahn (DB) launched an awareness video on YouTube in response to the growing trend of posing on train tracks while taking a selfie.

German Federal Police press spokesman Frank Borchert told DW that four young girls aged 16 or under have died since 2011 because they were caught by surprise by trains while taking selfies on the tracks.

ksb/jil (AFP, dpa)

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