Indonesian posts combine old photo and news report in claim about 'fatal Eid car crash in 2022'
An image of a car wreck has circulated in multiple blog articles that claim it shows a deadly traffic accident on the Indonesian island of Java on April 29, 2022, as tens of millions of people travelled to their hometowns to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival. However, the claim is false; the image shows a car accident in June 2021 in another island, while details about the purported crash reported by the blogs were lifted from another incident on Java in August 2021.
Translated to English, the post's caption reads: "Verily we belong to Allah, this happened this afternoon, 7 people who were going home for Eid al-Fitr died in an accident! Three of them belonged to one family, died on the way to the hospital."
The blog post published in April 2022 has the same headline, but the content of the article purports that one person died in the crash involving three vehicles.
The Indonesian-language blog post reads, in part: "Three vehicles were involved in an accident in front of the Mitra Iron Shop on Friday, April 29, 2022. One motorcyclist died at the scene with serious head injuries.
"This traffic accident occurred on Godean-Ngapak Road. The exact location was in front of the Mitra Iron Shop, Godean district, Sleman regency, Yogyakarta."
The posts circulated as tens of millions of Indonesians travelled to their hometowns on April 28, 2022 on an annual exodus from Jakarta and other major cities before the Eid al-Fitr holidays, which fell on the first week of May this year, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
The yearly homecoming journey -- locally known as "mudik" -- had been stalled for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the claim is false.
AFP found the photo has circulated in news reports about an earlier traffic accident in Indonesia on June 11, 2021; the blog posts also include details from another car crash on August 17, 2021.
Accident in Sumatra
A reverse-image search on Google found the photo published in this report by Indonesian news outlet iNews on June 12, 2021.
Part of the report reads: "A multiple-vehicle collision occurred on Pangkalpinang-Muntok Road, West Bangka regency, involving three cars and two motorbikes. In this incident, the victims only suffered minor injuries.
"The accident in Dendang village, Kelapa district, happened on Friday afternoon, June 11, 2021."
The photo in the report was taken by an iNews journalist and has a caption that reads: "The car and motorcycles involved in the multiple-vehicle collision in West Bangka."
Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading posts (L) and the photo in the iNews report (R):
Accident in Yogyakarta
Text from the blog posts partially match a news report published by regional outlet Baca Jogja on the same day.
Translated to English, the genuine news report's headline reads: "One Dies in an Accident Involving Two Motorcycles and One Car in Godean, Sleman."
The report also states the accident took place in front of the Mitra iron shop, and includes other details mentioned in the misleading blog posts, such as the make of the vehicles involved and comments from the same local police inspector.
The accident in Sleman was also reported by iNews on the same day here.
Neither accidents in West Bangka nor Sleman happened during Eid al-Fitr holidays, which fell in mid-May in 2021.