This video shows victims of a gas leak at an Indian chemical plant in 2020

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times in multiple Facebook, Twitter and Weibo posts that claim it shows victims of India’s second Covid-19 wave in 2021. The claim is false: the video actually shows victims of a gas leak in an industrial port city in south India in 2020.

The video was shared in this Facebook post on April 23, 2021.

The post's Sinhala-language caption translates to English as: "India's current situation. May the triple gems bless you all".

The term "triple gems" refers to the Three Gems of Buddhism.

A screenshot of the misleading Facebook post taken on April 27, 2021

The same video was also shared with a similar claim on Facebook here and here; on Twitter here.

The posts were shared as India's virus infection and death rate grew exponentially, overwhelming hospitals. AFP reported on the crisis here.

Part of the same video was also aired by Sri Lankan TV channel Hiru on their news programme on April 23, 2021. It was titled: "Highest number of infections (Covid-19) from India".

Screenshot of the misleading news clip aired on Hiru news on April 23, 2021

It was also shared on Chinese social media platform Weibo here, here and here alongside a similar claim. Chinese text superimposed on the video reads: “Covid situation in India”.  

The claim is false: the video actually shows victims of a gas leak in south India in May 2020.

A reverse Google image search with video keyframes extracted with InVID-WeVerify, a digital verification tool, found this identical footage uploaded on YouTube on May 7, 2020.

The clip is titled: "Vizag gas leak tragedy explained ! India ! Styrene chemical ! LG's chemical plant". 

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (L) and the YouTube clip (R)

Screenshot comparison of the keyframes between the misleading posts’ video (L) and the Youtube clip (R)

The gas leak in Visakhapatnam on May 7, 2020 killed 12 people and left hundreds hospitalised, AFP reported

Other screenshots from the same footage were also published here on May 7, 2020 by the New Indian Express, an Indian daily newspaper.

Below is a screenshot comparison:

AFP has previously debunked a similar claim in May 2020 that used visuals showing victims of the Visakhapatnam gas leak here.

Covid-19