In yet another selfie death, an IIT Kharagpur professor drowned in a rain-filled abandoned stone quarry in West Bengal while trying to save his son who had fallen into the ditch.
The incident took place on Sunday, when the 40-year-old assistant professor, who has been identified as Joydip Bhattacharjee, took his four-and-a-half-year-old son and two-year-old daughter on an outing to Gholghoria village.
The boy fell in the water when Bhattacharjee's was trying to click a selfie with his mobile phone.
"When the professor reached the abandoned quarry, the sky was overcast and it was a picturesque scene with the paddy fields in the background. He was trying to take a selfie with his son and daughter. His son slipped and fell into the water. The professor jumped in to save him and disappeared," a police officer was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
Though Bhattacharjee did not know swimming, he tried his best to keep his son from drowning in the 15-16-foot-deep ditch.
Two women working in the paddy fields nearby heard the screams of Bhattacharjee's daughter and rushed to help them.
"We were in the fields nearby when we heard screams. We rushed to find a little girl and a person struggling with his son in the water. We waded in and pulled the child ashore but couldn't find the man. We searched in the water but he could not be traced," Sandhya Tudu, one of the cultivators, told the Tmes of India.
After a 30-minute-search, the villagers fished out the professor's body from the ditch. It was sent for post-mortem examination.
"The child was rescued but Bhattacharjee couldn't be saved. Both kids have been sent home. We have registered a case of unnatural death," said West Midnapore SP Bharati Ghosh.
The death has come as shock to Bhattacharjee's colleagues. "This is very shocking. He was so young and a very promising talent. He was a PhD scholar in IIT Kharagpur. He completed his research in 2008. Five years later, he joined his former department as faculty member," said registrar Pradip Payne.
"We lost one of our brightest teachers of naval architecture and ocean engineering. He was in the prime of his research in marine hydrodynamics, hydro-elasticity, coastal engineering, wave and tidal energy converters," said Subhasis Tripathy, dean of the institute.
Meanwhile, a study has said that 60 percent of deaths that took place in India between March 2014 and September 2016 were when people were trying to click a selfie.
In late July, a 27-year-old man named Abhilash from Bengaluru died while trying to click a selfie with an elephant at the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP).
In another incident, a 25-year-old Navy man, Ashwad Jagannath from the INS Kadamba naval base in Kanwar in Karnataka died after he fell into the sea while trying to click a selfie in late June.