TNM spoke to Railway Police Force and to the “selfie victim’s” friend and relative to find out what really happened.

No the selfie train video from Hyderabad is not fake Heres the truth
news Accident Friday, February 02, 2018 - 20:47

A young man is seen smiling into his smartphone camera, as a train is seen in the distance.  

As the train comes closer, someone is heard warning him. However, he ignores the warning and says "one minute".  

The video ends with a thud as the young man is seemingly hit by the train, and the phone camera flips multiple times, before landing away from the tracks.

Since then, the video went viral not just nationally, but also internationally, with late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel even doing a comedy segment on it. 

TNM had also published a copy of the incident on January 24.

The youth, who sustained injuries on his head and hands, was later identified as Shiva, hailing from Warangal town in Telangana, who was residing in Borabanda.

A staged prank?

But soon reports began to emerge that the video was actually fake and a prank. 

Following a tweet by a journalist with a local Telugu channel, things escalated. 

"This guy Shiva n his friends created MMTS train accident fake video, fooled ppl as accident took place, this guy works in a gym at Madapur as general instructor, got this info from my teammate who goes to this gym, now this guy is absconding (sic)," the journalist tweeted.

While the journalist seems to have based her tweet on a WhatsApp forward doing the rounds, several websites began picking it up without cross-verification.

Websites including IndiaTimesMensXP and StoryPick declared that the video was fake and a prank. Two of the websites even went on to claim that Shiva was trying to "create awareness about the value of a life, when weighed against the dangers of taking such selfies."

IndiaTimes on the other hand, cited a report by ABN Telugu, a regional news channel, which uploaded a segment on YouTube, with the title claiming that the selfie video was fake. 

Even ABP News and Quint had covered the story based on the same tweet and ABN report. 

'Video is not fake'

But TNM has confirmed with authorities that the incident did occur but Shiva miraculously survived with just a few injuries.

Speaking to TNM, Railway Police Force, Senior Divisional Commissioner B Ramakrishna said, “The incident occurred on January 21. Although the Home Guard who was there at the spot cautioned him, he continued taking the video. Fortunately, he didn’t sustain any major injuries.”

“After being hit, panicked by the incident, the Home Guard, his brother-in-law and Shiva fled from the spot. When they came back to recover the cell phone we detained them (brother-in-law and Shiva). Subsequently, after filing a case they were sent to the Railway magistrate who imposed a fine of Rs 500 for trespassing. We have the case records to substantiate that the incident did happen.”   

Despite several attempts by TNM to contact Shiva, his mobile phone remains switched off.

"He did not expect the video to go so viral, and therefore he has switched off his phone," Shiva's friend told TNM on the condition of anonymity. 

Shiva's brother in law, Revi Kutla Satish, a resident of Madhapur who works as a gym instructor, however, clarified what really happened that fateful day.

Satish said, “The incident took place on Sunday (January 21). It is not a fake video. He did sustain minor injuries to his head and hand.”

When TNM pointed out that the video convincingly shows that Shiva was hit by the train, Satish claimed, "The train barely touched him. The sheer speed of the train caused him to fall back, seconds before it would have hit him

However, Satish says that Shiva still fell down near the tracks and the phone flew out of his hand, which gave the illusion that the young man was hit directly by the train.

Shiva's brother-in-law and friend, however, admitted one thing- it was a foolish and dangerous prank, they regretted it and no one should try repeating it.


(With Inputs from Nitin B)