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18 people die after lightning strikes – Here’s why you shouldn’t risk everything for a selfie

Only a few professional photographers have managed to capture a truly astonishing selfie. That doesn’t prevent everyone with access to a camera or smartphone from attempting to get the perfect shot.

Unfortunately, many have taken the art of selfies a step too far. Sadly, several people have died trying to reach secluded spots or dangerous locations. In October 2018, a couple fell to their death from Taft Point at Yosemite National Park. Two months before that, another teen fell while trying to take a selfie in Yosemite.

A recent online study concluded that between 2011 and 2017, there were at least 259 selfie-related deaths in 137 incidents globally. It turns out most cases are in India, Russia and the U.S.

Here are the details

It was reported over the weekend that another tragic selfie-related incident happened in India. A group of 27 people climbed to the top of 12th-century Amer Fort to take some photos. Standing on a hill about 6.8 miles from the city of Jaipur, it is a popular tourist attraction.

During a brewing storm, several people were taking photos in a watchtower when a powerful lightning strike hit. The resulting force killed 18 of the 27 visitors.

A witness told Asia News International: “Many people died in front of our eyes. If people had gotten help and authorities had reached on time, then (they would have been alive) We brought many people down. We rescued the people who were still alive, those who were still breathing, and pulled some people out of the gorge.”

How to stay safe during lightning storms

If you live near a golf course, you would undoubtedly hear sirens wailing when a storm is approaching. If there is no warning system where you are, there are a couple of ways to tell when things might be dangerous.

Signs like a strange metallic taste, the hairs on your arms stand up, and a tickling sensation throughout your body are all indicative that a lightning strike will happen very close to you in a matter of seconds. If any of these signs appear, drop to the ground immediately.

Another good tip is during a storm, never seek shelter under a tree or near any tall structures or bodies of water. Ideally, you’ll want to get yourself as low as possible. As for selfies, no photo is worth the risk. Always be aware of your surroundings, and assess any possible dangers that could arise from your actions.

“Most selfie-related injuries are a result of distraction – people get so focused on taking the perfect shot that they ignore basic safety. Practice the basics to prevent putting yourself or others in danger,” explained Cedars-Sinai in a selfie safety blog post.

Keep reading

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