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Friday, September 22, 2023

Boy, 17, falls to death while climbing LA bridge for ‘social media broadcast’

A 17-year-old boy fell to his death while climbing a Los Angeles bridge for an apparent social media stunt, police said.

Officers were called to the 6th Street Viaduct at about 2am on Saturday and found the teenager, who was declared dead at hospital.

The boy slipped and fell “when climbing upon one of the arches, in order to post, apparently, a social media broadcast”, Police Chief Michel Moore said.

The bridge opened last July.

The 588-million-US-dollar (£476.25-million) span, which replaced an 84-year-old art deco one, runs for 3,500 feet (1.1km) over the concrete-lined Los Angeles River and connects the city centre to the Eastside.

The bridge, which has thousands of LED lights and views of LA’s skyline, is the largest and most expensive span built in the city.

It was designed to become a city landmark.

But police have closed the bridge several times after it quickly became a hotspot for street racing, graffiti and illegal takeovers that drew hundreds of spectators to watch drivers perform dangerous stunts in their vehicles.

Social media stunts have abounded as well — in one case, a man sat in a barber’s chair for a haircut in the middle of the lanes.

A man was also shot dead on the bridge in January during the unauthorised filming of a music video.

“Tragically we see that location, while it has spawned a great deal of pride in Los Angeles, it has also unfortunately served as a backdrop now for tragedies such as this,” Mr Moore said.

“Our added patrols will continue at that location … to counter such reckless actions.”

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