A clip with disturbing visuals of people collapsing on the streets after inhaling poisonous gas in Visakhapatnam last year has resurfaced with false claims that it shows the current situation of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in India.
BOOM found that the visuals are from May 7, 2020, and they show the aftermath of styrene gas leak in Visakhapatnam's RR Venkatapuram area. The leak had occurred at a chemical plant of LG Polymers.
Earlier, BOOM had debunked a similar video when it was viral with a fake claim that it shows attack of poisonous bees in India. Read here.
The video has resurfaced in the backdrop of the spike in COVID-19 cases across India. There has been an unprecedented surge of COVID-19 cases in India in the second wave of the pandemic. The country recorded a global high of over 3 lakh fresh infections since the April 21. Added to that, the shortage in oxygen supply has resulted in a major health crises in several states, leading to the death of many COVID-19 patients. On Friday, India saw a single-day rise of 3,32,730 (3.32 lakh) COVID-19 infections and 2,263 fatalities with 24,28,616 (24.28 lakh) active cases. Read here.
The video has been captioned as, "COVID-19 is on a rampage in India... Hospitals are struggling to cope... There is no a huge shortage of oxygen.... This disease is vicious and cruel. #GetVaccinated and reduce the risk... Vaccines work... The Chinese vaccines are both safe & effective."
Note: The clip contains disturbing visuals.
The tweet can be seen below.
The video has also been sent to BOOM on its tipline for verification.
BOOM ran reverse image searches on a few of the keyframes and several keyword searches and found that the viral video has been made by compiling a few visuals filmed during the Vizag gas leak tragedy.
We found video reports published by NDTV and India Today on May 7, 2020, using the exact same visuals as the viral video.
Among other visuals, which shows a woman falling off on the footpath - can be seen at the time stamp of 1.55 minute in the video report of NDTV.
Visuals of bodies lying on the ground can be seen in the video report by India Today.
Comparison of the visuals in the news reports and from the viral video can be seen below.
Vizag Gas Leak
As per the initial reports on May 7, 2020, eleven people have died - including a 6-year-old girl - and over 350 people had been hospitalised after a styrene monomer gas leaked at a chemical plant belonging o LG Polymers. The plant was situated at RR Venkatapuram locality of Visakhapatnam. It was set up in 1961 when the place was outskirts of the city.
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