Old Image of ‘Rescued’ Baby Revived After Indonesia Plane Crash

We found that the original image is from a deadly boat disaster from July 2018.

3 min read
Fact-check of baby being rescued after a Sriwijaya Air plane crashed in Indonesia on 10 January 2021.

An image of a crying baby in a life jacket was shared by many on Facebook, claiming that it showed a baby being rescued from after a Sriwijaya Air plane crashed in Indonesia on 9 January, with 62 people on board. The flight disappeared from the radar four minutes after taking off.

However, we found that the image showed a baby being rescued following a deadly boat disaster near Indonesia's Selayar island in July 2018.


The caption that was shared with the viral photo read, “Breaking News
#Allah hu Akbar. One baby survived in Jakarta Indonesia plane crash.”

The image was shared by many on Facebook.

An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://perma.cc/DW5Z-TRVH">here</a>.
An archive of the post can be found here.
(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)
An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://perma.cc/P3XM-FNSA">here</a>.
An archive of the post can be found here.
(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)
An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://perma.cc/SE84-PYN7">here</a>.
An archive of the post can be found here.
(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)


When we conducted a reverse image search on the viral image, we found search results from 2018. While going through the search results, we found a news report published on Mongabays Indonesian website. The news report published on 7 July 2018 detailed five ship accidents that took place in Indonesian waters.

The news report carried the same photo and it was captioned in Indonesian, “A 3-year-old toddler managed to survive thanks to his mother's embrace. In the KM Lestari Maju accident, an unidentified toddler was also found. Photo: Special / Mongabay Indonesia.”

When we searched for “KM Lestari Maju accident”, we found reports of the ship by the same name that sank off the coast off Bulukumba, South Indonesia. Indonesia’s disaster agency told news agencies that at least 34 people died in the accident while 155 passengers were rescued.

We also found the photo in a tweet shared by Indonesia’s then disaster mitigation agency spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

The English translation of his tweet reads, “There are many social media posts that claim to show an image of a baby who survived the flight JT-610 plane crash. This photo in fact shows a baby who was rescued from KM Lestari Maju that sunk into Selayar waters, on Tuesday, 3 July 2018. So this information is a hoax. Please don't spread hoaxes.”

We also found a video report posted on Indonesia’s online media Liputan 6 of the baby after being rescued from the accident.

The same photo was previously viral following the Lion Air plane crash that happened Monday 29 October 2018, killing all 189 people on board. The Quint’s WebQoof team had debunked the claim back then.

Evidently, an old image was used to falsely claim that a baby was rescued after the Sriwijaya Air plane crashed in Indonesia.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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