Russians' infatuation with reckless selfie-taking has claimed a new victim after a 14-year-old girl was electrocuted while trying to snap a picture of herself on the roof of a cargo train parked at a rail station in the Moscow region, investigators said.
Three teenage girls went to the Tolstopaltsevo station of the Moscow-Kiev rail line "to make a flashy selfie," the Investigative Committee said in a statement Monday.
"One of them climbed on a car of a cargo train at the station, stood up straight and brushed against a contact wire," the statement said. "Hit by more than 27,000 volts of power, the teenager died on the spot."
The selfie-taking fad is contributing to the already heavy load of accidents and deaths on Russia's railways, according to the statement.
In the first six months of this year, 556 people were killed at railways in central Russian regions alone, while another 257 were severely injured, the statement said.
The injury and death counts each included 25 children and teenagers, many of whom suffered accidents while trying to ride outside train cars or to make a selfie, according to the Investigative Committee.
The latest pandemic of selfie-related deaths in the country prompted the Interior Ministry to release an illustrated manual in July on how to take a "safe selfie." Pictures accompanying the guide warned Russians against trying to take selfies on roofs of trains and on railway tracks.
Russian psychiatrists believe that selfie-taking has become an addiction for some and have opened a 24/7 hotline for those struggling to break the habit of taking photos of themselves.
In Moscow alone, one addiction psychiatry clinic has received up to 200 patients within six months with complaints about being addicted to selfies or to fitness, the head of prevention programs at Russia's addiction psychiatrists league, Alina Maksimovskaya, was quoted by Russian News Service as saying in July.