People Drowned Trying to Take a Selfie in Indonesia. It’s the Second Time This Month.

Five died when the dock they were trying to take the picture on collapsed.
Indonesia selfie accident
This aerial photo taken on May 27, 2021 shows the collapsed jetty on Lake Kandi in Padang, West Sumatra, where five tourists died as they tried to take pictures together. Photo: Adi Prima / AFP

Five people drowned after they tried to take a family selfie on a dock that collapsed in Indonesia, according to multiple reports, weeks after an eerily similar tragedy on a boat made headlines in the country.

The accident occurred when members of a family of 14 visiting Kandi Lake in western Indonesia attempted to take a selfie on the wooden structure, which broke under the weight. Five family members died, including a 17-year-old.

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They were at a camping site with a picturesque lake in an old mining town, but it was off limits to tourists at the time, an official told local media.

“The camping ground was already closed, but somehow they were able to enter the place. They took a selfie on the dock and then drowned [because it collapsed],” Susilo, a disaster agency official, was quoted as saying to local media.

The bodies of the victims were retrieved in a rescue operation and an investigation is being conducted, police told AFP.

With more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia has numerous tourist sites reachable only by plane or boat. They have also become increasingly popular among local residents amid an international tourism drought brought on by the coronavirus, which has wrecked much of Southeast Asia’s travel industry. 

But accidents involving boats and ferries are common in the Southeast Asian country, and lax safety regulations are often blamed.

The deaths come weeks after an overloaded tourist boat in Indonesia’s West Java capsized, killing nine of the 20 passengers. The passengers moved to one side of the boat to take a group selfie, causing the boat to overturn. 

Authorities said they were investigating the incident and urged tour operators to adhere to safety standards. 

In a highly-publicized disaster in 2018, a crowded ferry carrying upwards of 200 people sank in Indonesia’s Lake Toba. Only 21 people survived, while the remaining passengers were never found.

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