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17-year-old dies in Philippines beach selfie accident

A 17-year-old student's demise extends a tragic trend.


Miles Klee


Posted on Oct 17, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 9:28 am CDT

It seems ridiculous to blame any death on selfies, a craze that continues unabated despite being somewhat passé, but their connection to a pattern of freak accidents is striking.

In 2014 alone, there was the Russian teen who fell from a bridge, the Polish couple who plummeted from a cliff, the Indian boy who was killed by a train, and the Mexican man who accidentally (and fatally) shot himself. The latest addition to this list is Cheska Agas, a 17-year-old civil engineering student from the Philippines. Last Sunday, following a classmate’s birthday celebration, she and several friends went to the beach in the town of Bangui, where they staged a group selfie near the town’s famous wind farm. 

Presumably distracted while taking the picture, the second-year students were struck by overpowering waves that carried them off. Agas drowned before she could be recovered. The rest survived, though a young man, Edgar Abian, was taken to a nearby hospital. 

Yahoo! Philippines News reported that the evening had been a much-anticipated occasion for Agas: “Cheska’s mother revealed that her daughter had asked her permission to go to her classmate’s birthday party a month ago. She said that she had agreed because she thought Cheska needed to relax.” Officials said they would start warning people away from the water.

H/T Yahoo! Philippines News | PhiPhoto by John Ryan Cordova/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Oct 17, 2014, 1:25 pm CDT