Planking enthusiasts snub warnings despite tragic death
Melbourne, May 16 (ANI): Despite pleas from the Australian Prime Minister and the police to avoid further deaths from the Internet phenomenon of 'planking', defiant trend-followers continue to post their antics on social networking sites.
Acton Beale, 20, plunged seven storeys to his death from an inner-city Brisbane apartment block in the early hours of Sunday morning while attempting to copy the craze, in which people are photographed lying face down in unusual public spaces.
In what is thought to be Australia's first planking fatality, Beale fell after slipping off a 5cm-wide balcony railing.
The death has ironically triggered a global spike in the numbers trying out the trend, as many others mock the potentially dangerous "sport".
As the numbers involved spiralled out of control, Queensland and Victorian police issued stern warnings to those caught up in the planking craze, not to take risks.
And the Prime Minister says Beale's death should serve as a warning to others.
But planking enthusiasts continue to thumb their noses at authorities.
In a clip posted in the hours after Beale's death, a youth ignores clanging warning bells and flashing lights to lay prostrate on a lowered boom gate arm near Aspendale Station to the laughs of his mates, reports the Herald Sun.
Metro spokesman Chris Whitefield said it was working with police to stop the culprits.
"We will continue to work with the police to stamp out any unsafe and illegal behaviour, including any form of planking," he said.
Deputy Police Commissioner Ross Barnett indicated police could charge plankers if they were found trespassing or engaging in an unauthorised high-risk activity and reiterated police had done just that to a man in Gladstone who planked on a police car last week.
The Planking Australia Facebook page had more than 62,000 followers last night and was growing. (ANI)
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