snow middle east
Pedestrians take a selfie with a vintage tram in the background on the main shopping street of Istiklal in Istanbul. More dangerous trends like a recent attempt in India cost the lives of college students posing in front of a speeding train. Murad Sezer/Reuters

Three Indian college-goers have been killed by a train after attempting to take selfies in front of the moving vehicle.

The accident happened at about 9.30 am IST on Monday on the railway tracks off Mathura, near capital New Delhi. A fourth student in the group escaped unhurt.

The deceased have been identified by police as Yakub, Iqbal and Afzal, all aged between 20 and 22, according to the Times of India.

The four friends were travelling to Agra to see the Taj Mahal when they tried the stunt, according to the survivor, Aneesh.

Selfie craze

The phenomenon of the selfie is relatively modern, yet several people have already died and been injured while taking pictures of themselves in dangerous locations.

Last year, a Polish couple died in Portugal after slipping while taking a selfie atop a cliff. A Russian teenager also died when she climbed a railway bridge for a selfie.

The craze for selfies amongst youth has been recorded in PEW Research Center data that reported that 91% of teenagers have taken a selfie. So much so, Oxford officially named 'selfie' the word of the year in 2013.

The craze goes beyond youth as seen with Barack Obama's selfie at Nelson Mandela's funeral service which went viral.