2012 Photo From California Falsely Shared As Image Of Atal Tunnel

BOOM found that the viral picture shows the Devil's Slide Tunnel near San Fransisco and not the Atal Tunnel.

An image of the under-construction Devil's Slide Tunnel in California is falsely being shared as that of the recently inaugurated Atal Tunnel along the route between Manali and Leh.

BOOM found that the viral image shows the two circular mouths of the Devil's Slide Tunnel, also called the Tom Lantos Tunnel, which was inaugurated in the US in 2013.

The image is viral in the backdrop of the inauguration of Atal Tunnel on October 3, 2020. At a length of 9.02 km, the tunnel is said to be the longest highway tunnel in the world and connects Manali in Himachal Pradesh to Lahaul-Spiti all round the year. Built at a height of 10,000 feet above the Mean Sea Level, the tunnel will reduce the road distance between Leh and Manali by 46 kms.

Several mainstream media outlets including Times Now (archive), India Today (archive) and News 18 (archive) included the picture of the Devil's Slide Tunnel as part of their image compilation on Atal Tunnel. They have, however, credited the images to Twitter or PTI.

View below.

Snapshot from News18's story


Snapshot from India Today's story

The image has also been shared from several Twitter handles with similar claims.

A tweet from the official Twitter handles of SAIL mentions '@SAILsteel supplies more than 9000 tonnes steel for #AtalTunnelRohtang For #PressRelease, Please visit https://sail.co.in/en/sail-news/sail-supplies-more-9000-tonnes-steel-atal-tunnel-supplied-23rd-total-steel-used-project'.


Click here for archive.

Other tweets using the viral image as Atal Tunnel can be checked here and here.

The image is viral on Facebook with similar claims.

Click for archive.

Fact Check

BOOM did a reverse image search and found that the viral image is that of the Devil's Slide Tunnel or the Tom Lantos Tunnel in the United States. It is approximately 15 miles south of San Fransisco, and is between Pacifica and Montara in California's Bay Area.

This particular image has been taken from a blog from 2012 that features many images of the tunnel when it was under construction.

Original image

The image of the tunnel can also be seen on various other forums.

The 2014 annual report of Department of Transportation (Caltrans), State Government of California mentions the tunnel, and even provides photographic evidence of its mouth. It states that the tunnel was inaugurated in March 2013.


Caltrans' 2014 report can be read here.

The dual mouth of the tunnel can also be seen from various stills in this video put out by HNTB Corporation, the designer of Devil's Slide Tunnel.

We also checked videos showing the actual mouth of the Atal tunnel and found that it has a block-shaped square opening.

Images of the Atal Tunnel have been shared by Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, where the shape of the entrance of the tunnel can be verified.


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Updated On: 2020-10-11T12:09:44+05:30
Claim Review :   Image shows the recently inaugurated Atal Tunnel
Claimed By :  Users of social media
Fact Check :  False
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