This video shows footage of a fatal crash that occurred in the United Arab Emirates in 2018
A video has been viewed more than three million times in multiple social media posts which claim it shows the helicopter crash that killed US basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his teenage daughter Gianna. The video began circulating via multiple Facebook and Twitter posts within hours of their deaths being reported. The claim is false; the video shows a fatal crash that occurred in the Northern UAE in December 2018.
NBA star Bryant and his 13- year-old daughter Gianna were reported dead alongside seven others in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. Here is AFP’s report on the incident.
This post featuring a 24-second video of a helicopter spinning out of control, ending up in a fiery crash, was posted on January 27, 2020.
The video appeared within hours of Bryant's death being announced and has been viewed more than 48,000 times.
Below is a screenshot of the misleading Facebook post:
The post caption reads: “According to news: that’s the video of Kobe & Gianna Bryant accident and 7 other people
#ripbryan #ripkobe #ripgianna".
It has also been shared on Twitter, with this post seen below drawing more than two million views since it was first published on January 26, 2020.
Another misleading tweet featuring the video has received more than 971,000 views.
Below is a screenshot of the misleading tweet:
The claim is false; the video actually shows a fatal helicopter crash that occurred in the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates in December 2018.
A Google reverse image search of the video’s key frames obtained via video analysis tool InVID, found this 56-second clip published on video sharing website LiveLeak, on January 5, 2019.
Below is a screenshot of the video:
A YouTube keyword search on helicopter crashes in the UAE found this 56-second YouTube video published on Jan 5, 2019 and titled “Horrifying Helicopter Crash in UAE, bursting into flames and killing four”.
The video's caption reads in part: "Helicopter crashes after hitting zipline on Jebel Jais, killing all of its crew."
A closer analysis of the YouTube video found that the sequence between the 14-second mark and the 37-second mark of the video is identical to the footage used in the misleading posts.
Below are screenshot comparisons of the video in the misleading posts (L) and the YouTube clip (R):
A keyword search on Google found this 2018 report published by Dubai-based newspaper Gulf News on the helicopter crash titled “Video: Four dead in RAK helicopter crash”.
The BBC also reported on the incident, which occurred on December 29, 2018.