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Nursing student dies taking selfie on bridge

Woman suffers fatal injuries when she plunges to cement.

By Mary Papenfuss
Nursing student dies taking selfie on bridge
Sylwia Rajchel fell as she balanced on the edge of the Puente de Triana bridge in Seville for a selfie. (Sylwia Rajchel/Facebook).

SEVILLE, Spain, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- It was a bridge too far for Polish nursing student Sylwia Rajchel, 23, who suffered fatal injuries when she fell from Spain's Puente de Triana span in Seville as she attempted to take a selfie while vacationing there.

Rajchel tumbled 15 feet to the bridge's concrete footing. Medics managed to revive her at the scene after she went into cardiac arrest, but she died soon after arriving at a local hospital. A town official called the fall "tragic" and said investigators are considering ways to improve the safety of the 19th century bridge, one of the most photographed sites in Europe.

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Rajchel had taught herself Spanish and hoped to live in the country once she had earned her degree, said her mom. "Going to Spain was a dream come true for my daughter," she added.

Officials in Spain last grappled with unsafe selfies when participants in the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona stopped to pose for photos with the charging beasts. The region passed a law before the event cracking down on reckless selfies, calling for fines up to $2,050 for anyone who endangers people's lives by filming or taking photos.

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Selfie-obsessed Tour de France fans were also criticized last summer for turning their backs on racers to pose for photos, creating a serious hazard for the athletes. One cyclist called it a "dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity."

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