5 Selfie Deaths: Dying to get Selfie Likes
Dying to get the photo: Five selfies that ended tragically
A daredevil scales one of Hong Kong’s highest buildings. Photo: SCMP Pictures

The initially playful act of snapping photos of oneself for social media has led to the grim deaths of two individuals just this week.

The announcement of “selfie” as the Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year in 2013, cemented its place in society.

Everyone from US President Barack Obama to self-proclaimed selfie-guru Kim Kardashian has since only helped exponentially increase its popularity.

But in this widely encouraged culture of narcissism, individuals have now cultivated a dangerous habit of risk-taking for photographs in the hope of achieving popularity on social media.

Whether it is posing with weaponry or hanging off a skyscraper, there are no longer limits to the lengths taken to snap the perfect selfie.

In the accepted practice of “doing it for the ‘gram,” here are five individuals around the world whose risk-taking went too far.

Deleon Alonso Smith. Photo: SCMP Pictures

1. Accidental gunshot to the throat

Deleon Alonso Smith was posting pictures of himself posing with a gun online, when the weapon unexpectedly fired and killed him. The 19-year-old was reportedly shot in the throat on Tuesday afternoon this week in this Texas, USA apartment.

The last selfie taken by the unnamed Chinese man before he fell to his death. Photo: SCMP Pictures

2. Lost footing on top of a cliff

A Chinese man fell off a 30-metre cliff when he lost his footing while taking selfies beside a mountain waterfall. The local police recovered a selfie stick and mobile phone beside the man’s body in Zhejian province on Wednesday this week.

Xenia Ignatyeva was electrocuted when she fell from a railway bridge. Photo: SCMP Pictures

3. Slipped off a railway bridge

Russian teenager Xenia Ignatyeva, was taking selfies on top of a railway bridge in Krasnogvardeysky when she slipped. The 17-year-old attempted to save herself by grabbing onto a high voltage cable, but instead was hit by 1,500 volts and electrocuted to death.

A Spanish man was electrocuted while taking a selfie on top of a train. Photo: SCMP Pictures

4. Electrocuted and thrown from a train

A 21-year-old man climbed onto the roof of a train with a pal in pursuit of a selfie in Andujar, Spain. However, the parked train was powered by overhead electric cables and the electrocution threw him off the train.

David Gonzales Lopez was trying to take selfies at the annual bull running festival. Photo: SCMP Pictures

5. Gored by a bull

David Gonzales Lopez was trying to take selfies with the animals during the annual bull running festival in the Spanish town of Villaseca de la Sagra, when he was fatally gouged from behind by a charging bull.

Ultimately, the best safety measure one can take is to avoid taking selfies next to something that can kill you.

Whether you’re next to an unrailed cliff or a live charging animal, no photo is worth risking your life for.

Hong Kong has not experienced a high-profile selfie death. However, daredevil duo Vitaliy Raskalov, 21, and Vadim Makhorov, 24, scaled some of the highest restricted points in the city without safety equipment last year.

Although there were no complaints filed in Hong Kong, China contacted both Russia and Ukraine with a request to ban the pair from visiting China for 20 years.

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 September, 2015, 5:51pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 September, 2015, 8:52pm
Stephanie Chin