Sunday 23 October 2016

Two tourists plunge to their deaths in Peru in separate selfie accidents

Deaths follow latest in a spate of selfie-related accidents

Published 06/07/2016 | 09:09

Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo: Deposit Photos
Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo: Deposit Photos

The bodies of two tourists visiting Peru have been recovered by police, days after both died while trying to take selfies in separate incidents.

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Kim Jongyeob, 28, from South Korea lost his footing while trying to take a picture on the edge of the Gocta waterfall in the north-east region of the country and fell 1,600ft to his death last Wednesday afternoon.

Divers and mountain rescue teams were called in to recover Mr Jongyeob’s body from the base of the falls and he will later be cremated before his ashes are taken back to South Korea.

On the same day, German tourist Oliver Park, 51, fell from a cliff overlooking Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes. His body was recovered by police on Thursday.

Mr Park reportedly leapt into the air while attempting to take a ‘flying’ selfie with the mountainous scenery in the background, and slipped backwards down a steep ravine at the historic citadel.

Speaking after Mr Jongyeob’s body was found, Peruvian police told AFP: “The tourist was found dead, submerged seven metres deep in the lake into which the Gocta waterfall runs.

“He wanted to take a self-portrait at the waterfall but while he was looking for a good place to take it, he fell.”

Meanwhile, officers said Mr Park had ignored several prominent safety warnings and got too close to the edge despite being encouraged not to.

Millions of tourists from across the world visit the Macchu Picchu site every year, with many of them taking photos of the extraordinary scenery.

There have been more than 20 selfie-related deaths globally so far this year, with India having the highest fatality rate from the trend.

Last September, it was reported more people died from selfie accidents than shark attacks.

In March, a man in Washington fatally shot himself in the face while trying to take a selfie with a loaded gun.

Independent News Service

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