Video of Vizag Gas Leak Being Shared as ‘COVID Surge in India’

The video is from a gas leak at a polymer factory near Visakhapatnam which killed 12 people in May 2020.

Published
WebQoof
2 min read
A video showing bystanders falling unconscious on the streets is being shared on social media with a claim that it depicts India’s COVID-19 situation.
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A video showing bystanders falling unconscious on the streets is being shared on social media with a claim that it depicts the situation amid the recent rise in COVID infections in India.

The Quint, however, found that the said video is from when a gas leak at a polymer factory near Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam killed 12 people in May 2020.

CLAIM

The video is being shared with a claim which reads: “COVID-19 is on a rampage in India... Hospitals are struggling to cope... There is a huge shortage of oxygen....” This is followed by a message to take the novel coronavirus seriously and get vaccinated.

(NOTE: The visuals can be distressing. Viewer discretion is advised)

An archived version of the claim can be accessed <a href="https://archive.st/4uhc">here</a>.
An archived version of the claim can be accessed here.
(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

The video was also shared by multiple users on Facebook with the same misleading claim.

We also received multiple queries regarding the video on our WhatsApp tipline.

WHAT WE FOUND

We fragmented the viral video into multiple keyframes using the InVid Google Chrome extension and ran a reverse image search on those frames.

This directed us to news reports (dated 7 May 2020) by The Telegraph and India Today which carried similar visuals.

As per these reports, the visuals are from a gas leak at a polymer plant near Visakhapatnam. Twelve people were killed in the incident and at least 585 fell sick.

Video of Vizag Gas Leak Being Shared as ‘COVID Surge in India’
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)
Video of Vizag Gas Leak Being Shared as ‘COVID Surge in India’
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)
Next, we reached out to District Collectorate of Vizag who confirmed to us that the viral video is from the gas tragedy in May 2020 and has no link with the current surge in COVID-19 cases.

Clearly, unrelated visuals from the styrene vapour leak incident in Andhra Pradesh are being linked to the surge in India’s COVID cases.

(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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