Nigerian social media users falsely claim that two videos show an alleged Indonesian plane crash

·3-min read

Nigerian social media users have shared two videos with claims that they show an Indonesian airline crash. One of the clips features a plane making a bumpy landing on a runway, while the other displays passengers evacuating an already crash-landed plane. But the claims are false: neither clips show an actual Indonesian airline accident. AFP Fact Check found that one is a computer-generated scene and the other genuine footage from a recent crash in Iran.

Popular Nigerian reality TV star Ike Onyeama published one of the videos on his Instagram account with more than two million followers.

The clip shows a passenger plane diving onto a tarmac and bouncing back into the air before crash-landing onto the runway. The side of the plane is branded “Garuda Indonesia”, the name of Indonesia's national carrier.

“Over 200 passengers on board miraculously saved as plane eluded crash,” Onyeama’s caption reads.

Screenshot taken on January 11, 2022, showing the false Instagram post

The 36-second clip has been viewed more than 403,000 times and received 6,000 comments since being published on January 9, 2022.

Some users appeared to believe the footage was real. “This is the hand of God,” reads a comment on the now-deleted post.

However, the clip does not show a real crash - it is computer-generated imagery.

AFP Fact Check previously debunked a version of this video.

In some recent posts circulating in Nigeria, this computer-generated footage is combined with a clip of passengers evacuating a plane via emergency slides.

In this version, the posts claim the additional footage shows how the passengers were rescued from the Garuda Indonesia plane after the supposed dramatic landing.

“Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 that crash landed today and how passengers came of the plane (sic),” reads a Facebook post shared 2,000 times before it was taken down.

Screenshot taken on January 11, 2022, showing the false Facebook post

However, there is no official evidence that a Garuda Indonesia plane crashed recently.

Computer simulation

A keyword search on Google led to the source of the first clip on YouTube. The corresponding footage appears at the five-minute and 44-second mark of a video titled “Most Crazy Emergency Landing By Drunk Pilot | X-Plane 11”. The video was published on May 2, 2020, by YouTube user Bopbibun who makes simulation videos.

Screenshot comparisons between the video shared in misleading posts (L) and the YouTube video (R)

“This is only in the flight simulation. This situation is not real! Everything in this video doesn't happen in real life, because this situation is just a challenge for me to try in the flight simulation,” the video’s description reads.

AFP Fact Check conducted a reverse image search on Yandex to trace the second video, which appeared in a tweet about an accident at Isfahan airport, involving a plane operated by Iranian Caspian Airlines.

In the tweet, the name of the Tehran-based private carrier appears indistinct. But a similar shot of the scene taken from another angle shows the name, logo, an Arabic inscription, and the Iranian flag on the aircraft.

Aviation news website Airliner Watch reported that the Boeing 737-400 with registration EP-CAP belonging to Caspian Airlines suffered a gear-related accident on landing at Isfahan.

Iranian news outlet Parto News Agency said the incident occurred on January 5, 2022, en route from Mashhad to Isfahan, both in Iran.

“As a result of this accident, the plane also derailed, but fortunately the passengers were not harmed,” aviation authorities told Parto.

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