Mother-of-two tragically dies after falling 27 floors while trying to take a selfie
Last week, on Friday 12th October, Sandra Manuela Da Costa Macedo fell to her death after attempting to take a selfie on the 27th floor of a building. The mother-of-two, whose age has not been verified, fell from a block of flats in Panama after spending several minutes perched on the edge of her balcony. It is believed that a strong gust of wind tipped her over the edge.
Video footage of the moment that Macedo fell from the balcony was captured, but is upsetting viewing. It can be viewed online.
The clip was recorded by a group of construction workers who were commenting on how dangerous Macedo's actions were just moments before she plummeted to her death.
One of the witnesses of the incident, Erick Alzate, told reporters that people had warned Macedo shortly before she fell.
"I live here in the tower where she fell. She had been taking selfies for a couple of minutes and construction workers on a block opposite were shouting to her to be careful," he said. "She decided to sit on the railing for the last selfie and that’s when she went over the edge."
It is believed that Macedo had only moved to Panama recently, having originally come from the town of Vila das Aves in Portugal. She had been working as a teacher in her home country, and had relocated to Central America in order to take a new position at a school.
Paramedics had rushed to the scene of the accident in an attempt to give aid to Macedo at just after 10am on Friday morning, but, tragically, the woman died upon impact.
In the wake of her death, Panama's fire department have issued a warning to others about the dangers of taking selfies in high-risk areas. "Don't risk your life for a selfie," they said. "It's more important to lose a minute in life than your life in a minute."
Meanwhile, others have been taking to social media in order to pay their respects to the mother-of-two.
"This woman was a very good friend of mine, a mother of two children. She was a teacher and she was in Panama to work in her chosen profession," wrote one person on Instagram. "She was Portuguese and called Sandra. Let's pray for her."
Another contributed: "It's sad to see a person like that, so full of life and wanting to look beautiful in a photo but not realising the place she's in is dangerous because of the wind."
As tragic as this incident may be, however, it is by no means an isolated occurrence.
Between October 2011 and November 2017 it's believed that at least 259 people died while trying to take a selfie. This is according to research conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, which was published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.
Numbers may actually be higher, but sometimes it is unclear about the circumstances of an individual's death if nobody was there to witness it.
According to the study, more than 72 per cent of those who died while taking a selfie were male, and drowning was the most common cause of death. Dozens of individuals have died as a result of falling from high up, however, often as part of dangerous stunts intended to garner views on social media.