A viral video clip claiming to show fatal chopper crash involving Indian general is old

Deepak Adhikari / December 13, 2021

Chief of defense staff of the Indian Army Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 others were killed on December 8 when a helicopter carrying them crashed in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Following the tragedy, the news began to spread in India and Nepal. Nepali social media users shared videos and photos of the accident.

On December 9, Bhim Upadhyaya, a former secretary at the Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation, shared a video clip on his Facebook account. The video shows an Indian Army helicopter crash-landing on a hill. Upadhyaya, who has 114,000 followers on Facebook, claimed that Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat had a narrow escape. He later deleted the post. But, his post had already been shared by more than 500 people on Facebook. It had received 255 comments and more than 1800 likes.

The video clip is also circulating on TikTok. TikTok user @anujyadav6660 captioned the video on December 9 claiming, “It’s a real video. Indian Army CDS (Chief of Defense Staff) Bipin Rawat. RIP (Rest in Peace) from the helicopter crash.” The video has been shared 727 times and viewed more than 900,000 times. It has received over 48,000 responses. A YouTube account called Hanta Kali has shared the same video clip with the caption copied from Bhim Upadhyaya’s Facebook post.

Fact check

South Asia Check fact-checked the claims made in the video clip. We downloaded the video from Facebook and uploaded it to browser extension called Invid. Invid converted the video clip into key frames. We ran a reverse image search of the photos on Google and found the video was of an Indian Air Force helicopter crash-landing in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh on November 19. The incident occurred due to a technical glitch, according to a report published on Zee News. And a report by Asian News International said two pilots and three crew members were safe with minor injuries. Now it is clear that the video clip in question was old and not related to the fatal December 9 helicopter crash involving Indian general Rawat.

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