Claims Of K-Pop Boy Band BTS Being Killed In Plane Crash Are Fake

The photo actually shows a private jet carrying American pawn shop employees that crashed in Honduras in 2018.

A photo of a plane crash has circulated in social media posts along with a claim that members of South Korean boy band BTS have been killed in a plane crash. The claim is false; BTS has remained active on social media since the publication of the social media posts. The photo actually shows a private jet carrying American pawn shop employees that crashed in Honduras in 2018.

"BTS group that drove the entire world into a frenzy killed in a plane crash," reads the Sinhala-language text superimposed on an image that was uploaded in this Facebook post, published on October 18, 2021.

The image, purportedly a screenshot of a news report from Sinhala-language breaking news service Esana, includes a photo of a plane crash.

The post's caption reads: "Serves them right".

Screenshot of the misleading post, captured on October 19, 2021

The photo, alongside a similar claim, was also posted on Facebook here and here.

Some social media users appeared to believe the report was genuine.

"Thank goodness!" one person wrote.

"Didn't like the losers, but poor things," another wrote.

However, the claim is false.

The South Korean boy band BTS remained active on social media, like on Twitter and Instagram, after the claim circulated. They broadcast a live stream on October 20, 2021, on South Korean app V Live.

A reverse image search found that the photo was originally published by the Associated Press (AP) news agency on May 22, 2018, with a headline: "Honduras Plane Crash".

Screenshot of the photo published on the AP Images website

The photo's caption reads: "A fire truck sprays with foam a white Gulfstream jet that appears broken in half near the center, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Tuesday, May 22, 2018. The private jet crashed off the end of the runway at Tegucigalpa's airport Tuesday, but the crew and passengers were rescued and reportedly out of danger, according to Honduras emergency management agency."

The AP published a report on May 24, 2018, about the crash here. The headline reads: "Passengers of Honduras plane crash were from US pawn company."

AFP's video report on the plane crash in Tegucigalpa featured images similar to the AP photo.

The plane was carrying two crew and four passengers, who were American pawn shop employees, reported CNN and the New York Post on May 23, 2018.

No fatalities were reported in the plane crash.

Photos of the same incident were shared in Indonesian-language posts that claimed 20 missionaries were aboard the plane when it crashed, but all survived.

Sri Lankan news site

The false posts about BTS members feature the logo, font and colour of Sinhala-language breaking news service Esana.

However, AFP found no such article on Esana's website.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the picture in the misleading post (L) and an article from Esana's website (R):

Screenshot comparison of the picture in the misleading post (L) and an article from Esana's website (R)

AFP has previously debunked other false claims of celebrity deaths, including Elon Musk and Rowan Atkinson.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by BOOM staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Updated On: 2021-10-22T14:57:35+05:30
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