Girl, parents drown in selfie death river tragedy

The Kuhan river runs close to the popular city of Peshwar, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (Photo; Shutterstock)

An 11-year-old girl drowned when she fell into a deep rocky river at a popular tourist spot in Pakistan as she tried to take the perfect selfie – her parents drowned trying to rescue her, local media reported.

Safia Atif, 11, was standing on the bank of the river Kuhan when she slipped and fell. Her mother, Shazia, saw her and jumped into the water, trying to save her – but instead the two drowned.

"The girl, Safia Atif, was trying to take a selfie along the river when she slipped and fell," local police official Arshad Khan told AFP, explaining the incident was witnessed by other tourists.

When the child’s father saw the two were in trouble he also tried to rescue them, but was also overwhelmed and died. The bodies of Safia and Shazia, were later recovered, the body of the child’s father, Atif Hussian, remained unfound.

The Kuhan river runs close to the popular city of Peshwar, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The river is popular for rafting. But according to local officials, the river claims the lives of about a dozen people every year.

“This is a tourist spot and people usually come here for picnics and most of them are outsiders who have no idea about the depth of the river,” a government official said.

After the recent tragedy the government put up warning signs along the river. The young girl and her parents left behind two younger children aged nine and six. Her parents were doctors in the Punjab province. All five were in Peshwar on holiday.

The children were placed under the care of the local authorities until relatives arrived. These latest deaths are just the latest in an increasing phenomenon of so called “selfie deaths” which have surged with the global rise of smartphones.

On July 5, Peruvian police recovered the body of a South Korean tourist under a waterfall in the Amazon jungle, days after he fell in while taking a photo of himself.

A week earlier a 51-year-old German tourist plunged 200 metres (650 feet) to his death while posing for a photo on a mountainside at Peru's top archaeological site, Machu Picchu.

(With AFP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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