A national-level 20-year-old female athlete died on Friday while taking a selfie at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bhopal. She was one of the top steeplechase runner at the Bhopal centre.
The death of the athlete is one of many such incidents that occur while people try to click selfies in risk-prone areas. India reportedly had the highest number of selfie-related deaths in 2015 at 25.
"Puja was taking a selfie near a pond in the campus along with her two friends. The pond [which is behind the cricket ground] has a steep slope and does not have any stairs. While taking the selfie, she lost her balance and fell in the pond. She was rescued by her friends and rushed to a hospital, where she was declared brought dead," Assistant Sub-Inspector Sunil Dubey told ANI.
Pooja Kumari from rural Uttarakhand had been living at the SAI in Bhopal for three years. She had been promoted to the SAI Centre of Excellence during her time at the centre. The talented athlete had won the sub-junior national level gold in Delhi a few years ago.
An investigation is being carried out about the incident.
"Pooja didn't know how to swim at all, hence she couldn't save herself. Both of her friends also didn't know how to swim hence despite all their efforts they couldn't save her in time. She fell off the ledge while bending down to take a selfie, but lost her balance. The pool was relatively deep, and she couldn't climb out or grab onto her friends. Her friends came back to the hostel to get help from the hostel, but it was too late. We are deeply saddened by her demise and she was one of the top steeplechase runners in our setup. She won Madhya Pradesh state several times, and was targeting a senior national medal soon," an SAI Bhopal official was quoted as saying by Sportskeeda.
In other incidents related to deaths caused by selfies, at least seven young people were swept away while taking their photographs along the Ganga river in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
The police in Mumbai had declared certain areas close to the sea as no-selfie zones after several people died after being washed away while taking selfies.