Bengaluru, July 17: The craze for selfies claimed the lives of two young techies when they were washed away in a waterfall in Karnataka while trying to click a picture of themselves, police said on Monday.
The incident occurred on Saturday at Mekedatu waterfalls in Kanakapura district, where the Arkavathi, a tributary of the Cauvery, meets the river. Shamir Rahman and Bhavani Shankar, both in their late 20s, were employed in a software company here, police said.
Rahman slipped and fell while clicking the selfie. His friend leapt in and tried to save him, but both were washed away, they said.
Both rivers are in spate due to increased flow following release of excess water from the Krishna Raja Sagar dam in Karnataka. The incident comes even after authorities have made repeated requests to those visiting waterbodies not to take selfies.
For several years now, India has recorded the most selfie-related deaths. According to Me, Myself and My Killfie: Characterizing and Preventing Selfie Deaths, a collaborative study by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Indraprastha Institute of Information Delhi, between March 2014 and September 2016, 60 per cent of all "selfie deaths" - where a person dies while trying to take a picture of themselves - were reported from India.
Pointing to an increase in selfie related deaths, the study reported that more than 73 people died while taking extreme photos of themselves in the first eight months of 2016, up from 39 in 2015 and 15 in 2014. According to the report, 68 % of victims who died while taking a selfie were under the age of 24. Around 75% of the victims were men. In more than 24 incidents of selfie deaths, multiple lives were lost.
The report also stated that the most common type of selfie death involved people falling from buildings, mountains, cliffs or other extreme heights. Water-related photos were the second most dangerous.