Chinese Tourist Posing for Photo Plunges 250 Feet Into Active Volcano

Panoramic view of a stunning turquoise crater lake with rising steam, surrounded by rugged cliffs under a dramatic sky at sunrise.
Ijen volcano.

A 31-year-old woman holidaying in Indonesia has died after falling 250 feet into an active volcano.

The Chinese national identified as Huang Lihong was on a guided tour with her husband of a volcano in East Java called Ijen when she fell into the crater, the pair had ascended to the top of the volcano for sunrise. Ijen has a spectacular “blue fire” phenomenon caused by the combustion of sulfuric gases and is popular with photo-seeking tourists.

According to the New York Post, the tour guide told Indonesian authorities that initially Lihong was heeding the warnings to keep a safe distance from the crater after she was warned of the dangers of posing for a photograph there.

However, she apparently tripped over her long clothing while walking backward toward the volcano and fell into the blue lava. A photo circulating on social media shows Lihong with smoke rising behind her, while she raises her leg and looks at the camera which was taken moments before her demise.

Rescuers took two hours to retrieve her body with the death being ruled an accident. Her body will be transported to Bali being returned to China.

Death by Selfie is Fast Increasing

Earlier this month, 39-year-old Inessa Polenko fell more than 170 feet to her death after stumbling while taking a selfie from a clifftop viewing platform in Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia.

The tragic incidents come after a recent study suggested that taking selfies may pose a “public health problem” amid the near ubiquitous use of smartphones and social media apps.

The paper scraped news reports of selfie-related deaths as well as a cross-sectional study by the iO Foundation that found 379 people were killed while taking selfies around the world between January 2008 and July 2021.

The researchers identified falls from height as the most common type of selfie-related injury. They said that tourists were most at risk, with the most common cause of death being falling from cliffs or waterfalls while attempting to take a selfie.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.