A montage of several videos showing the Beirut Port explosion of 2020 has surfaced with false claims that it shows Russian missiles hitting British cargo ships, triggering an explosion in Ukraine.
BOOM found that the viral video shows multiple visuals captured during a port explosion that happened on August 4, 2020, in the city of Beirut, Lebanon and claimed more than 200 lives, triggering a nationwide emergency and shock.
In the viral video, multiple explosions of a similar looking skyrise can be seen near the sea. Some footages can be seen as captured from a jet ski while some have been captured from nearby skyrise buildings.
The video is circulating in the backdrop of continued geopolitical tensions between Ukraine and Russia.
BOOM received the video on its helpline number +91 77009 06588 for verification with the caption, “The port of Odessa, Ukraine, was hit by four to six Russian missiles that hit two British cargo ships that were just below the ground, triggering a massive EXPLOSION. British ships carrying high explosives to Ukraine . One can see thebdouble standards of western nations. U.S and E.U and U.K. fuelling the Russia-Ukraine war but accusing Russia of accusing escalating the war.” (sic.)
The same video is viral on Facebook with a similar caption.
BOOM ran reverse image searches of keyframes from the video and found several media reports containing footages of the same visuals from the viral video. These reports described the massive explosions that occurred at the Beirut seaport that claimed 218 lives, while leaving thousands injured. A report from The Guardian included similar screengrabs from the viral video. The UK Times also featured similar images of the explosion at the Beirut port.
We found video clips on YouTube from August 2020 by Sky News that included footages from the viral video.
NBC News' YouTube handle also contained footages from the Beirut port explosion that were similar to the clips included in the viral video. The link for the news report by NBC News can be seen here.
We saw a label “Mavericks Cafe Bar” in one of the footages from the viral video.
After running a relevant keyword search we found similar videos containing footages which all pointed to the Beirut explosion and did not bear any mention of missile attacks in Ukraine.
Additionally, BOOM ran a search on Google Maps for similar looking buildings where this explosion could have happened which led us to the Marfaa area of Beirut Port Silos that was similar to the images of the building in the viral video as well as media reports mentioning the Beirut port explosion. Thus, we were also able to understand the damaged areas near the Beirut seaport that faced the impact of massive explosion.
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