Television channel and social media users shared old photo from India to show Sunday’s Tara Air crash

South Asia Check / May 30, 2022

A still from Avenues Television news broadcast on Sunday.

By Pravin Bhatta/South Asia Check

A Tara Air Twin Otter plane flying from Pokhara Airport to Jomsom in Mustang of northern Nepal crashed on May 29, killing all 22 people on board. When the small aircraft went missing before reaching Jomsom, Nepali social media users began circulating images of a crash site.

In a breaking news report on Sunday, Avenues Television, a national news channel, broadcast a photo claiming that it was a fresh photo of the Tara Air plane crash while adding that it couldn’t determine the exact location.

The photo quickly circulated on Facebook and Twitter. Many people posted the same photo claiming that it was the wreckage of the plane that crashed on May 29.

The photo was widely circulating on social media soon after the Tara Air plane went missing.

We fact checked this claim.

The photo shows the wreckage of an aircraft. We downloaded it and performed a reverse image search. We found the photo was neither from Nepal nor of the said plane crash. Our investigation showed that it was a five-month-old photo from Coonoor in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The photo was of a fatal chopper crash involving Bipin Rawat, the then chief of defence staff (CDS) of India on December 8, 2021.

On December 9, the India Today magazine published the same photo in a news titled “CDS Bipin Rawat’s chopper crash black box recovered: What is a black box?” The photo was credited to the Press Trust of India. The news clearly establishes the fact that the photo shown by Avenues Television is actually from the fatal crash involving CDS General Bipin Rawat in India. South Asia Check has previously fact checked claims about the same crash in Coonoor.

Hence, the photo circulating on social media claiming it was from May 29 Tara Air Crash is false. It’s a five-month-old photo from the fatal chopper crash in Coonoor in south India.

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