7 people die as friends try to rescue Indian man taking selfie near Ganges

© Rupak De Chowdhuri
An attempt to take an inspiring selfie in the turbulent waters of the Ganges River has cost the life of a young Indian man, also killing six of his friends who tried to rescue him.

The incident happened on Wednesday as group of teenagers were bathing on a partially-submerged platform at the Ganges Barrage Bridge in the town of Kanpur.

Shivam Gupta, 19, slipped while taking a selfie and was carried away by a rapid current caused by recent heavy rains.

His brother Satyam, five of his college friends and a 31-year old local man jumped into the water in an attempt to rescue the young man.

But they were also swept away by the Ganges. Only one of the students managed to survive and called the police.

Six bodies have been fished out of the water, with the search for the seventh victim still underway.

“Youngsters who throng the Ganga [Ganges] barrage in large numbers often risk their lives while bathing in the river,” Shalabh Mathur, a police chief, told the Indian Express.

“They go deep into the river and slip on the rocks. Before they can realize what went wrong on their part, they are caught in the swirls of Ganga,” Mathur stressed.

Security barriers were erected around the Ganges Barrage Bridge after the tragedy, with police deployed to arrest any trespassers.

According to the authorities, 24 people, mainly youths, have drowned in the Hindu holy river in Kanpur since September 2015.

On Monday, an 18-year-old tourist from Delhi slipped into the Ganges’ waters in Rishikesh and drowned, while also trying to snap a selfie.

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There were 27 selfie-related deaths recorded last year around the globe, with around a half of them in India.