Mumbai sets ‘no-selfie zones’ as India becomes selfie death capital of the world
MUMBAI (India) – 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 selfie-linked deaths since 2014, according to San Francisco-based data service provider Priceonomics. The statistic may in part because of India’s sheer size, with 1.25 billion citizens and one of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone markets.
Alarmed by the trend, Mumbai has declared 16 no-selfie zones across the city, as authorities warn people against taking unnecessary risks.
Other countries have taken measures to deter risk-takers from snapping photos of themselves in dangerous locations. Selfie sticks have been banned at some train stations in Japan, amid fears that they could cause people to lose their balance and fall onto the tracks. Last year, Russia launched an entire selfie safety campaign that warned of the most dangerous spots to take a selfie, including rooftops and busy roadways.
Mumbai police spokesman Dhananjay Kulkarni told, ‘This is a new problem for us, we have identified spots in Mumbai. We want to restrain people from going there so that mishaps don’t happen.’
“We have deployed our policeman in those areas and we are asking the city council to put up warning signs,” he added.
According to the report, 45% of the total deaths caused while taking selfies happened in India. Recently, a Chennai teen was hit by a train after he posed in front of it for a selfie. This month, an 18-year-old student died after trying to take a selfie on top of a rock near a dam. He fell into the water and drowned, as did another person who tried to save him. And in January, an 18-year-old woman drowned after trying to take a selfie in front of a popular tourist site in Mumbai.
Venues such as the Louvre in Paris have recently joined theme parks such as Disneyland in imposing bans.