After a China Eastern plane plunged from the sky on March 21, killing all 132 people aboard and marking China's deadliest air disaster in three decades, social media posts shared a video they claimed showed a man who changed his travel plans at the last minute and decided not to board the stricken jet. However, the clip was filmed weeks before the crash by a travel blogger boarding a flight from a different airline.
"In the Guangxi plane crash, this person got off the plane at the last minute due to an urgent matter after he had already boarded and escaped a huge disaster!" reads a post on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, from March 23.
The video shows passengers boarding a plane, while a man off-camera tells a flight attendant he would not be taking the flight due to a personal emergency.
"Sorry, I have an emergency. I can't get on this plane," he says in Mandarin.
The video then cuts to the man speaking to staff inside the airport and apologising for the hassle.
The posts circulated shortly after a China Eastern plane crashed into a mountainside on March 21 near the city of Wuzhou in southern China's Guangxi province. The civil aviation authority said all 132 people aboard were confirmed dead.
The cause of the crash, China's deadliest aviation disaster in three decades, was not immediately known.
However, the video circulating online was filmed weeks before the China Eastern disaster.
A reverse image search of keyframes from the video traced it to a post from March 2 on a travel blog on Douyin called "Bring You to Planet T".
The account, which has more than 600,000 followers, regularly posts travel videos from around China.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in false posts (left) and the Douyin video (right):
Replying to a comment on the video, "Bring You to Planet T" said: "The video was posted on March 2 and taken on a Shandong Airlines plane".
Contacted by AFP, the user -- who gave his name only as Zhao -- said he filmed the video on February 21.
A representative for Shandong Airlines said the video was taken aboard one of its flights.
"The video was improperly used by some social media users and brought a negative impact on Shandong Airlines," the spokesperson told AFP.
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