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.
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)
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.
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.
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