Three students were run over by a train in Uttar Pradesh while they were snapping selfies on the tracks in Kosi Kalan area of Mathura district, police said on Tuesday.
The youngsters stopped to take the photographs on Monday while travelling in a car to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal. A fourth member of their group escaped unhurt as he was not on the railway tracks, witnesses said.
The group had begun their journey from Mitrol village on the UP-Haryana boundary. Nawal Kishore, in-charge of the Railway Protection Force at Kalan in Mathura, said they stopped near Kosi Kalan, about 100 km from Agra, to click selfies.
However, they failed to notice the Kerala Sampark Kranti train on the tracks and were run over by it. They were killed instantly, police said.
The dead were identified as Yakoob from Azadpur Mandi in Delhi, Iqbal from old Faridabad and Azmal from Muradnagar. Their friend, who survived, was identified as Anis from Mitrol. All four resided in the National Capital Region (NCR), police said.
The bodies of the three students were sent for an autopsy and their families informed, police said.
Eyewitnesses said initially all four youngsters had taken selfies near the railway tracks. Later, three of them stayed back to click more shots and were hit by the train.
About 10% of fatal road accidents in India are caused by careless use of cellphones, according to a 2010 study by Anna University in Coimbatore. The rapid proliferation of smartphones and the trend of posting pictures on social networking sites are cited as the main reasons for the craze for selfies.