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Mumbai Creates No-Selfie Zones to Prevent Further Deaths

by Lucy Bayly /
Image: Young Indian couples take 'selfies' on Marine Drive promenade in Mumbai.
People take 'selfies' on Marine Drive promenade in Mumbai on June 15, 2015.INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP - Getty Images, file

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Police in one of India’s biggest cities are clamping down on people dying for a selfie, following a spate of deadly incidents.

The move was prompted by the recent death of a college student who was swept into the sea while attempting to take a self-portrait with her cellphone at a popular tourist attraction. A man trying to save her also drowned.

Image: Young Indian couples take 'selfies' on Marine Drive promenade in Mumbai.
People take 'selfies' on Marine Drive promenade in Mumbai on June 15, 2015.INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP - Getty Images, file

“After the unfortunate incident we have decided to identify 16 spots where taking selfies can be dangerous, but we may add more,” Deputy Commissioner Dhananjay Kulkarni told the Guardian. “We have written to the municipal corporation to put some warning signs up at such points. We want them to deploy some lifeguards also."

Read More: Ohio Fugitive Who Sent Police Better Mugshot Selfie Arrested in Florida

The “no-selfie” zones include popular festival sites, beaches, and tourist attractions, in addition to a bumped-up police presence.

On a global scale, India has the highest number of selfie-related deaths, with 19 since 2014. Mumbai's new regulations are in line with steps taken by other countries to deter dangerous photo-taking. Japan outlawed selfie sticks at train stations in an effort to stop people from falling onto the tracks.

Officials Pamplona, Spain banned selfies at the city's annual Running of the Bulls festival. During last year's violent storms, a British safety organization warned, "We understand the temptation to view powerful tides and weather conditions, however, if you get caught up or swept out to sea in these events your life will be at risk very quickly."

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