India is home to the highest number of people who have died while taking photos of themselves, with 19 of the world's 49 recorded incidents since 2014. Alarmed by the trend, Mumbai has now declared no-selfie zones.
Mumbai police have declared selfies off-limits in 16 areas perceived as risky - particularly along the coastline in spots with no railings or barriers. The places include the iconic sea-facing Marine Drive promenade and the popular Girgaum Chowpatty beach, both major tourist attractions. Those who venture into off-limit areas, whether or not they take photos, risk being slapped with a fine of 1,200 rupees, or about $18.
As the pursuit of the most epic selfie can have lethal consequences, authorities are not only introducing no-selfie zones, they're also planning to run an awareness campaign. It follows a series of cases where people took major risks to capture the perfect shot. In January 2014, three students aged 20 to 22 died when they stopped to take a photo with a speeding train approaching, and were hit. They'd been on their way to visit the Taj Mahal. Earlier this month, an 18-year-old college student on a class picnic lost his balance while taking a selfie atop a rock near a dam not far from the central Indian city of Nashik. He fell into the water and drowned, along with a classmate who jumped in to try and save him.
Mumbai police official Dhananjay Kulkarni said last month's death of an 18-year-old woman spurred authorities to conduct a survey to identify dangerous places. The young woman drowned in the sea while taking a photo of herself at Mumbai's Bandra Bandstand, a popular tourist spot.
at / kf (ape, bbc)