People who thrive on bad news; who always want to be "in on the action" when there is a disaster/tragedy; who try to find any personal connection, no matter how remote, to the current tragedy; and who make things sound more serious/emotional/melodramatic than they really are -- as a way of drawing attention to themselves more than anything else.
Similar to, but more specific than a drama queen
. A sympathy whore
gravitates towards an event, be it a plane crash, flood, serious illness or the death of someone else.
Different from a drama ho
"Oh my God! (sob) My brother's best friend's nephew was just killed in a car accident. (sob). It's just so awful...(sob). When is the funeral? (sob) No, I'd never met him, but I need to be there to support my brother. (wail)" -- example of a sympathy whore