Australian dies after 'planking' on balcony, police say

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Image caption,
The craze has thousands of followers on social media websites

Australian police say a man who plunged to his death from a seventh-floor balcony on Sunday was participating in the internet craze of "planking".

Planking involves someone lying flat on their stomach in unusual and sometimes dangerous situations, and posting photographs on social media websites.

Police said the dead man, in his 20s, fell from a balcony railing in Brisbane while a friend photographed him.

The man's name has not been released pending notification of his family.

Planking arrest

The craze has gone viral in recent weeks, with one Facebook page boasting 90,000 fans and hundreds of photos of people lying on chimneys, escalators, camels, and other objects.

"This morning we have seen a young man take this activity a step further and attempt to plank on a balcony," said Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett.

"Unfortunately he has tragically fallen to his death."

Queensland police last week warned "plankers" of the dangers of the activity, after a man was caught allegedly planking on a police car.

The 20-year-old was charged with being on police equipment without lawful excuse.

Sergeant Matthew Russell, of Gladstone police, told the Brisbane Courier-Mail newspaper that planking could be dangerous, and practitioners may find themselves charged with "unauthorised high risk activity".

"While we appreciate the activity is light-hearted fun, putting yourself and others at risk and breaking the law will not be tolerated," he said.

Mr Barnett said the death on Sunday is "what we've been fearing".

"As planking gains popularity, there may be more injuries and potentially further deaths," he said.

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