When a Canadian woman was hit by a train and badly injured in northern Italy, rescue services quickly went to her aid on the tracks.
But as they treated the victim a young man captured the scene from the station platform in a selfie that has provoked widespread anger.
He was himself pictured by a news photographer who complained “we have completely lost a sense of ethics”.
Police caught the young selfie-taker and forced him to delete his picture.
The young Canadian woman caught up in the accident late last month was taken to hospital and had a leg amputated.
The man in white Bermuda shorts who took the selfie on a platform at Piacenza station has been investigated and does not appear to have committed a crime.
But the image of him pointing his mobile phone at the dramatic rescue scene has appeared on many front pages in Italy and attracted incredulity on social media.
Corriere della Sera said he appeared to be making a “V for victory” sign with one hand while taking the shot with the other.
A commentary in La Stampa spoke of a “cancer that corrodes the internet”. The young man who took the selfie was not bad, argued Antonella Boralevi. Instead, he had turned off his soul and his personality and become an “automaton of the internet”.
Radio host Nicola Savino told listeners that the human race was “galloping towards extinction”. One user on Twitter said simply: “Nothing surprises me any more.”