Nine Arches Bridge, Sri Lanka: Travel bloggers slammed for hanging from moving train for Instagram snapshot

A travel blogging couple has come under criticism online for posting a photograph of themselves hanging out of a moving train.

Portuguese influencers Raquel and Miguel, who use the handle @explorerssaurus_ on Instagram and have more than 246,000 followers, shared the photograph from their train ride along the Nine Arches Bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka on February 20. 

The photo shows Raquel hanging out of the train backwards and balancing on one foot as Miguel leans out of the carriage to kiss her on the forehead. 

The caption begins "We are all on a long journey with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy."

The photo has received more than 44,500 likes but many users have criticised them for what they seen as a dangerous stunt that may prompt others to do something similar. 

"As an influencer myself, I feel that these kind of pictures are irresponsible," one user commented. "I recognise it is a wonderful image and kudos to the unknown photographer this couple is now profiting off. But doing such a stunt, even though 'it felt absolutely safe' is borderline idiotic."

"Please stop doing dangerous stunts just to get more likes and followers," another wrote. "How would you feel if some young couple tries to imitate you and something horrible happens to them? Such freaking irresponsible people!"

"This is just asking for an accident. Really?! Are you that stupid? For a friggin photo?! OMG I am so happy that you are someone else's kid. I pray for your parents. Shame on you two," another said. 

The couple have defended the photo, saying the train was moving very slowly and that many locals and tourists hang out of their train or dangle their feet out of it, The Independent reported

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The couple are far from the only influencers to put themselves in potentially dangerous, or even deadly, situations in pursuit of the perfect image. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by RAQUEL & MIGUEL (@explorerssaurus_) on

Raquel and Miguel snorkelling with nurse sharks in the Bahamas, where Instagram model Katarina Zarutskie was bitten and held underwater while trying to capture the same shot.

More than 250 people worldwide have died while taking selfies between October 2011 and November 2017, according to a 2018 study from researchers associated with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a group of public medical colleges based in New Delhi.

Of the 259 deaths, researchers found the leading cause to be drowning, followed by incidents involving transportation - for example, taking a selfie in front of an oncoming train - and falling from heights. Other causes of selfie-related death include animals, firearms and electrocution.

"The selfie deaths have become a major public health problem," Agam Bansal, the study's lead author, told The Washington Post.

In 2018, three people died while taking selfies in Yosemite National Park in California. 

Eighteen-year-old Israeli Tomer Frankfurter apparently lost his balance while trying to take a photo of himself at the edge of Nevada Fall before falling 250 metres to his death, the teen's mother told The Times of Israel.

Less than two months later, travel blogging couple Vishnu Viswanath and Meenakshi "Minaxi" Moorthy fell from Taft Point, a popular overlook that towers around 1000 metres above Yosemite Valley, the Fresno Bee reported. 

Stuff.co.nz 

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