Italy shocked by man who took selfie after Canadian tourist hit by train

An unknown man takes a selfie as paramedics tend to a Canadian who was hit by a train in Italy. Giorgio A. Lambri / Libertà di Piacenza

Italians are outraged after a man took a selfie as emergency officials aided a woman who was hit by a train.

The 83-year-old woman, who is from Canada, was hit by a passing train on May 26 when she exited the wrong train door, local media reports.

Her leg was injured and later amputated.

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The incident took place at Piacenza station just outside Milan, Italy; authorities have started an investigation into the incident.

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Canadian officials said their thoughts and sympathies were with the woman involved in the incident.

“Consular officials are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information and are providing consular assistance as required,” Global Affairs spokesperson John Babcock said in an email.

The woman’s identity and other information isn’t being disclosed because of privacy reasons.

While the story is tragic, it’s a picture of the scene which has Italians captivated.

The picture, taken by journalist Giorgio A. Lambri, shows a passerby with his smartphone held up in front of him, with the lady being tended to behind him: he’s taking a selfie.

The picture shows the man making a symbol with his hand; Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera said it was the “V for Victory” symbol.

“I have seen many crimes and terrifying scenes, but I’m not ready to [see] this,” Lambri told Global News.

Lambri said police saw the man, and ordered him to delete the selfie photo from his phone.

“The most terrible thing is that guy [doesn’t] understand absolutely the badness of his behaviour,” Lambri said.
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In his newspaper, Lambri described the scene as “The barbarism you don’t expect: the selfie in front of the tragedy.”

Other local media were similarly outraged.

La Stampa called it a “cancer that corrodes the internet,” and radio host Nicola Savino said this shows that the human race is “galloping towards extinction.”

On a post from Lambri, Facebook users called it a “repulsive affair,” and that it was “so sad we have forgotten our humanity.”

Lambri said he has also received some criticism for taking his photo, but he said he captured the scene because it is his job – and wasn’t paid extra for the picture.

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It’s not the first time people have been criticized for taking selfies at inappropriate times.

In 2014, a teen girl was slammed on social media for posing for a selfie at the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

And last year, a sign asked people to stop taking selfies at the site of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in London – where 79 people died.

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