LOS ANGELES: An Indian couple who fell to their deaths in California's Yosemite National Park were apparently taking a selfie, according to a family member.
Travel bloggers Vishnu Viswanath, 29 and Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, died last week after falling from Taft Point - a popular overlook at the park that does not have a railing. Their bodies were recovered by park rangers on Thursday (Oct 25).
Viswanath's brother told Indian media that he believes the couple were taking a selfie when the tragedy happened.
The pair, who lived in the United States, were travel enthusiasts and had a blog called Holidays and HappilyEverAfters that chronicled their adventures.
In a recent Instagram post, Moorthy posted a photo of her sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon and reflected about the "daredevilry" of taking pictures from dangerous locations.
"Is our life worth just one photo?" she wrote.
Authorities said park officials were investigating the deaths and the probe could take several days.
The couple fell almost 245m in an area surrounded by steep terrain and rescuers had to use a helicopter to recover the bodies.
A photo posted on Facebook by Sean Matteson and his girlfriend Drea Rose Laguillo allegedly captured Moorthy prior to the fall at 5.11pm on Sunday.
Moorthy's distinctive pink hair is visible in the photo.
"I guess I took her last photo! Her and her husband fell off this cliff that day," Laguillo said on Facebook.
Laguillo added that Moorthy was enjoying the view from the cliff when the picture was taken.
"We left 30 minutes before the sun started to go down," Laguillo said.
"I only saw the girl hanging out alone enjoying the view. It's extremely easy to have a tragic accident happen up there. The whole thing is on a cliff edge and if anyone were to try to save you, they would probably fall too."
Around 259 people have died worldwide in recent years while taking selfies, according to a study published earlier this month in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.
Researchers found that drowning, transport and falling from heights were the most common causes of selfie-related deaths.
Most of the deaths took place in India, where 159 selfie deaths have been reported since 2011, followed by Russia, the United States and Pakistan.
Selfie-related deaths and accidents have made headlines in recent years.
In June, an Australian couple fell to their death from a wall overlooking a beach in Portugal, apparently losing their balance after taking a selfie.
Last year, two young women were hit and killed by a small aircraft as they were taking selfies by the side of a landing strip in Mexico.
In January this year, a man was hit by a train in Hyderabad, India, while standing next to a train track to take a selfie. He survived.