Fact Check: Visuals of 2020 Vizag gas leak shared as second wave COVID-19 Impact
The internet is flooded with ghastly visuals of people apparently claiming the Covid-19 scenario in India
It is hard to draw a line between reality and fake news in this situation.
A clip with disturbing visuals of people collapsing on the streets after inhaling poisonous gas in Visakhapatnam last year has resurfaced with false claims that it shows the current situation of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in India.
We found that the visuals are from May 7, 2020, and they show the aftermath of a styrene gas leak in Visakhapatnam's RR Venkatapuram area. The leak had occurred at a chemical plant of LG Polymers.
There has been an unprecedented surge of COVID-19 cases in India in the second wave of the pandemic. The country recorded a global high of over 3.5 lakh fresh infections. Added to that, the shortage in oxygen supply has resulted in a major health crisis in several states, leading to the death of many COVID-19 patients.
The video has been captioned as, "COVID-19 is on a rampage in India... Hospitals are struggling to cope... There is no a huge shortage of oxygen.... This disease is vicious and cruel. #GetVaccinated and reduce the risk... Vaccines work... The Chinese vaccines are both safe & effective."
After running a reverse image search on a few of the keyframes and several keyword searches, it was found that the viral video has been made by compiling a few visuals filmed during the Vizag gas leak tragedy.
We found video reports published by NDTV and India Today on May 7, 2020, using the exact same visuals as the viral video.
As per the initial reports on May 7, 2020, eleven people have died - including a 6-year-old girl - and over 350 people had been hospitalised after a styrene monomer gas leaked at a chemical plant belonging to LG Polymers. The plant was situated at RR Venkatapuram locality of Visakhapatnam. It was set up in 1961 when the place was on the outskirts of the city.