A sick and extreme social media craze of jumping in front of moving trucks is proving fatal for some teenagers in Indonesia.
The dangerous pastime, known as the ‘challenge malaikat maut’ (the Angel of death challenge) is catching on throughout the south-east Asian country, with participants videoing themselves on TikTok performing the deadly stunts that have had dire consequences for some of the people involved.
An 18-year-old was killed instantly in Tangerang, Banten, when he and two friends leaped in front of a heavy lorry in an apparent attempt to halt the juggernaut.
His pals managed to avoid the vehicle and thus injuring themselves, but he wasn’t so lucky as he collided with the truck and rolled under the lorry and was crushed to death.
The driver was detained for questioning.
Meanwhile in Bandung, West Java, a 14-year-old fractured his skull and shattered his teeth after being struck by an HGV as he and a friend attempted to perform the same caper as the Tangering trio.
Local police are now looking for the truck driver, who has gone AWOL presumably out of fear of criminal charges. Ironically, he could have avoided prosecution had he complied with the police investigation, but may well face hit-and-run charges.
The truck “challenge,” so to speak, is not exactly a new social media trend, particularly at the two locations.
Police say locals have been trying to stop the teenagers from stupidly risking their lives, but their pleas have mostly fallen on deaf ears.
To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.
Those attempting the challenge are only considered to have succeeded if a) the person jumps in front of a moving truck and, b) it comes to a stop before hitting the person.
The antics have been widely condemned, with one person writing on Twitter: “In previous years there have also been incidents like this, and they did that for TikTok content.
“Some information about similar incidents can still be found easily on websites or news channels on the Internet. Hopefully it will be a lesson for all of us.”
Another added: “His parents raised him with love, hope and wise advice, instead he chose to obey his friend’s invitation to create content that risked his life. Where is your mind and mind, son?”