These are the first released pictures of a 10-year-old girl who reportedly died taking part in a TikTok challenge where participants choke themselves until passing out.
The funeral of little Antonella Secomero took place at the Church of Santissima Trinita della Magoni in the city of Palermo on the Italian island of Sicily on Tuesday morning.
The 10-year-old lost her life on the evening of 21st January after she tried to carry out a sick game on TikTok known as the ‘Hanging Challenge’, according to local media.
She reportedly locked herself in the bathroom with her mobile phone and a belt to film her “performance”.
According to local media, the girl was found unconscious in the bathroom by her sister and her parents with the belt still around her neck.
She was immediately to Palermo Children’s Hospital where she reportedly passed away the next day.
The father later admitted he gave the belt to Antonella after she asked him for it, not knowing that it would serve as a tool for the tragedy.
He said that he trusted his daughter with her use of social media, adding: “I knew Antonella was using TikTok for dances and watching videos. She was eager for likes and followers, but I never thought that she would take part in a game like this.”
The child’s body was carried in a small white coffin and many people took part in the long procession that crossed the streets of the neighbourhood.
Before the ceremony, fireworks were set off and white balloons were released in the sky.
Archbishop Corrado Lorefice, who led the ceremony, said: “Antonella’s death is a warning and an appeal to all of us.”
He continued: “This pandemic has made our children more fragile, more afraid. They are in a hurry to grow up. And parents, at times, feel uneasy because their children no longer want to be children, they want to take flight, despite their fragility, despite their fear.
“In these days of the pandemic, loneliness, depression, and confusion seem to overwhelm us.”
According to local media, the ‘Hanging Challenge’ also took the life of a nine-year-old boy who heard about Antonella and decided to try it himself.
The boy, who intended to upload the video on YouTube, reportedly met the same fate and was found hanged in his bedroom in the city of Bari.
It is unclear if the local authorities are investigating the deaths.
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