A video showing the aftermath of a recent gas explosion at a restaurant in Abu Dhabi is being shared along with the insinuation that the explosion was in response to commercial flights from Israel to UAE being launched for the first time.
On August 31, the first commercial flight from Israel to the UAE took off from Tel Aviv. The flight, operated by Israeli carrier El Al, had US President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, US national security adviser Robert O'Brien and the Director of Israel's National Security Council, Meir Ben-Shabbat on board. The flight was operated after the UAE and Israel signed a diplomatic agreement normalizing the relationship between the two countries.
The video, shot from a height, shows rubble strewn all around the KFC restaurant as sirens from emergency services vehicles ring in the background. The video recorder pans the camera around the area showing the aftermath of the explosion.
The video is being shared with the caption: Explosions in 2 American restaurants, KFC and Hardee's in Abu Dhabi and Dubai ahead of first Israeli commercial flight operations in the Muslim kingdom. 2 messages in 1 operation?
The video has been shared with the insinuation multiple times on Facebook and Twitter.
Explosions in 2 American restaurants, KFC and Hardee's in Abu Dhabi and Dubai ahead of first Israeli commercial flight operations in the Muslim kingdom. 2 messages in 1 operation? pic.twitter.com/KhsuGNAnaI— Hemir Desai (@hemirdesai) September 1, 2020
BOOM also received the video and claim on its WhatsApp helpline number.
BOOM ran a Google search with the keywords "Abu Dhabi restaurant blast" and found multiple articles reporting the incidents. UAE-based The National reported that two people died after a gas explosion at the Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Road branch of KFC and Hardee's restaurant on August 31.
The article also includes a video clip which is identical to the ones being shared on social media with the misleading claims.
The Abu Dhabi Government media office tweeted that the blast was caused by a "misalignment in the gas container fittings following refuelling".
According to on-site investigations, the incident was caused by a misalignment in the gas container fittings following refuelling.— مكتب أبوظبي الإعلامي (@admediaoffice) August 31, 2020
In a separate incident, The National reported that a man was killed when a gas cylinder exploded in a Dubai restaurant in the early hours of August 31. A Dubai Civil Defense spokesperson was quoted as saying that the blast and the subsequent fire was caused by a gas leak in the restaurant.
Claim Review : A blast at two American restaurants was a reaction to the first commercial flight from Israel to the UAE.
Claimed By : Posts on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp
Fact Check : Misleading