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Fact Check: Old & Unrelated Videos Falsely Claim To Show Manang Air Chopper Crash

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Claim
Two videos claim to show the crash of Manang Air Helicopter in Solukhumbu
Fact
One of the videos shows downing of Russian chopper by Ukrainian forces, and the other one shows plane-helicopter collision at Lukla Airport

A Manang Air helicopter crashed in Lamjura areas in Solukhumbu district on Tuesday, killing all six people onboard. Several unsubstantiated and false videos have made their way into social media in the wake of the tragedy. Newschecker found two such videos purportedly showing the crash of Manang Air chopper in Solukhumbu district being shared among TikTok users.

According to The Kathmandu Post online, the chopper, with call sign 9N-AMV, carrying six people including Captain Chet Bahadur Gurung and five Mexican nationals crashed in Lamjura of Likhupike Rural Municipality.

TikTok user @kundonyadov01 posted a video showing a helicopter crashing down after it was shot. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Manang Air helicopter crash at Lamajura in Solukhumbu. Heartbreaking News.”

The video has garnered 73 likes and 47 users have shared it until the last count.

The same TikTok user posted another video showing people rushing towards a crashed aircraft, and thick smoke billowing from the aircraft.  Text superimposed on the video reads, “Manang Air helicopter crashes in Nepal. Three people died let’s pray for others.”

 The video has garnered 89 likes and 68 users have shared it until the time of posting this article.  The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

Newschecker found the claims to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the veracity of the claim made by the first viral video, Newschecker split the video into several keyframes and conducted reverse searches on them. The results pointed us to a Russian helicopter being shot down by Ukrainian forces published on Daily Mail online.

Taking it as a clue, we conducted a search on YouTube by using relevant keywords and found a video, dated 19 April 2023, on the YouTube channel of Daily Mail online. The video frame exactly matched the viral video. We also checked another video, dated 29 June, 2023, on the YouTube channel named YouNews. The video description indicated that the footage showed the intense moment when Ukrainian forces successfully shot a Russian Mi-8 attack helicopter in Donetsk.

Our investigation confirmed that the first viral video showed Ukrainian forces blowing a Russian helicopter.  

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the second viral video, Newschecker took several keyframes from the second viral video and conducted reverse searches on them. The results pointed us to an incident when a Summit Air plane skidded off the runway and hit two choppers at Lukla airport on the foothill of Mt Everest in April 2019.  We checked an article regarding the plane-chopper collision at Tenzing Hillary airport published on Nepali Times online and found that one of the images carried by the news closely matched a frame from the viral video.   

Further, we found an image, dated 15 April 2019, whose frame closely resembled a frame from the viral video, on Twitter handle named Airport Webcams. However, we couldn’t find the original footage used in the viral video.

Our findings indicate that the second video showed a moment after a Sita Air plane skidded off the runway and hit two parked helicopters at Lukla Airport in April 2019.

Conclusion

The videos allegedly showing the Manang Air chopper that crashed in Solukhumbu district are misleading. The videos actually show a Russian Mi-8 helicopter being shot down by Ukrainian forces and a 2019 April plane-chopper collision at Lukla Airport.

Result: False

Sources
Nepalitimes.com, 14 April, 2019
Daily Mail /YouTube, 19 April, 2023
You News /YouTube , 29 June, 2023
Airport Webcams ,15 April, 2019


If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, email us at checkthis@newschecker.co  You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

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