Tragic Accident Kills Four Family Members Trying to Take Selfie

Tragic Accident Kills Four Family Members Trying to Take Selfie

Four members from the same family all drowned at Pambar Dam in India on Sunday after falling into the water while attempting to take a selfie together. 

Newlywed V. Nivedha and her husband G. Perumalsamy went to see the dam along with four family members ranging in age from 14-22 while visiting Nivedha's sister about a month after the pair's wedding. The group of six waded into waist-deep water for a selfie while holding hands, when one of them slipped, pulling the rest of the group down with them, where they were swept into deeper waters. Perumalsamy was able to save himself and his sister, Yuvarani, but sadly, the other four in the group drowned. Their bodies were recovered quickly.

A 2018 study showed that India has the most selfie deaths of any country in the world (over half the total across the planet), with the majority of victims being men under 30. Authorities have said that they plan to implement no-selfie zones in high-danger areas. Many experts have begun studying the problem and deemed it a public health crisis as the numbers of death and injuries continue to rise. 

Lead image by Cl.sekar, in public domain.

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Jon The Baptist's picture

So many questions

How would they gain access to such a dangerous part of the dam?

How do you even get access at all?

Why would you want a selfie at a dam?

If the waters were strong enough to pull 4 people down, wouldn’t the danger level be visually obvious?

Asking for a friend

Motti Bembaron's picture

Most importantly, why would you go waist high in the water when you do not know how to swim. In India, the percentage of people who do not know how to swim is staggering.

Ryan Luna's picture

It's India, and from my vastly ignorant perspective, the general safety of "stuff" is not even close to being the same level as it is in USA or other highly developed countries.

In most ways, you're correct. In other ways, India is more restrictive. Steps are rarely uniform, hand railings are often absent, large cavities can be found along sidewalks, etc. Driving on roads—or crossing them as pedestrians—is a free-for-all. On the other hand, they'll permanently eliminate access to entire viewpoints because one or two dumbsh!ts decided to jump from the top of them.

No such thing as safety. No dividers for roads is the little hint nothing is about safety

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

"it's India" no need to add more text...

Robert Nurse's picture

I'm not from India. But, the US and its access to guns in light of mass shootings seems equally "unsafe" to the rest of the world.

Duane Klipping's picture

But in mass shootings no one is stupid enough to take a family selfie...

Wes Jones's picture

I did a quick google search for pictures of the dam and it looks like there are no barriers to keep people from getting in the water. It seems to be a very popular place for picture taking.

Eric Robinson's picture

Why do people want to take selfies?

Zack Schindler's picture

I have never taken a selfie and am rather proud of that fact.

Eric Robinson's picture

I have taken a self-portrait in the benign environment of a studio, but a selfie in front of a landmark building or in a potentially dangerous location, why do people do it? As it has nothing to do with photography.

Before the advent of selfies, it was common for people to have their pictures taken after hiking or climbing up some non-Everest style peaks or over a mountain pass marked with an appropriate sign. That genre was referred to as "hero pics". Now the very act of being out in the world, on a sidewalk, beside a guardrail, behind a hamburger, wherever is worthy of a "hero pic" aka "selfie".

Eric Robinson's picture

What is interesting about this is the underlying mindset. A hero pic was in someway to record a significant event for posterity, where the selfie is some kind of visual masturbation...

Zack Schindler's picture

Visual masturbation is a great description.

I was in Greenwich Village in NYC a few years ago eating in a Mexican restaurant and there was a bench in front of the place. There were two women sitting on the bench and they kept shooting selfies over and over. They would play with their hair and then shoot and then repeat again and again. I watched this with horrified fascination. Here they were in a very photogenic location and all they could shoot was themselves?

I'm very sorry to read that four people lost their lives in this incident. That's definitely a tragedy. I'm also sorry that they are considering making the rules more restrictive as a result. As I traveled around India recently, there were many locations where it felt like a nanny state. I was struck by how many tourist sites were so locked down that many of the best views and locations were no longer accessible. It was frustrating. At some point, people have to take responsibility for their own actions. If you climb into the water, you may drown—particularly if you can't swim and are dressed in regular clothing. If you insist on standing at the edge of a 200 foot drop off backward to take a selfie and you end up falling to your death, that's on you. Collect your Darwin award on the way down. But bad decisions like these should not result in limiting experiences for everyone else.

Vladimir Vcelar's picture

I'm not saying lets kill all the stupid people; I'm just saying lets allow the warning labels to come off and let the problem sort itself out.

Noah Stephens's picture

Natural selection strikes again.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Water current is not something you want to underestimate. I know first-hand.

Amirun Anil BISOYI's picture

Darwin award winning performance.

Ariel C's picture

Gotta ban selfies.
All of them.
Took a selfie ? jail for you.

Yavor Kapitanov's picture

Darwin Award contenders.

From Wikipedia: "Although India has not made any official statements about the size of its nuclear arsenal, recent estimates suggest that India has 130–140 nuclear weapons and has produced enough weapons-grade plutonium for up to 150–200 nuclear weapons."

Inspired to look up this stat after reading comments about levels of safety in India.

Nick Haynes's picture

I am from India, and I am sorry to say that safety of self or others is not something that figures high in many people's consciousness. Spend a little while driving on our roads, and count the number of people per minute who completely depend on others to keep them alive. And selfies and youngsters seems to be a particularly suicidal mix.

Amirun Anil BISOYI's picture

No need to apologise for stupidity of others. We are enough of Indians to last a long time. Let the weak be weeded out. Jai Hind.

Ryan Davis's picture

Serious question, if you believe in reincarnation, does that reduce your incentive to be careful?