On September 1, BBC reported that “the first official flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates has landed, a major step in normalizing relations after the announcement of a peace deal.” The report added, “the UAE repealed a law boycotting Israel which had been in place since 1972, and earlier this month the two countries opened direct telephone services for the first time.”

In the backdrop of this, multiple Facebook and Twitter users shared videos of the aftermath of an explosion where a KFC restaurant can be seen surrounded by debris and police cars. A Twitter user posted one of the viral videos and wrote, “Explosions in 2 American restaurants, KFC and Hardee’s in Abu Dhabi and Dubai ahead of first Israeli commercial flight operations in the Muslim kingdom. 2 messages in 1 operation?”

Alt News has not uploaded the other viral videos due to their graphic nature. We have received several requests to fact-check the videos on our WhatsApp helpline (+917600011160) and on our official Android application. A set of four videos from the incident is viral with a “Breaking News” disclaimer followed by the viral text.

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Fact-check

Even before we could complete typing the full sentence for a keyword search, Google auto-suggested “kfc explosion abu dhabi”.

We found multiple reports on an explosion in KFC in Abu Dhabi. As per Arabian Business, the incident happened on August 31. The report added Abu Dhabi government’s response on Twitter.

The Abu Dhabi Media Office posted a tweet thread writing, “According to on-site investigations, the incident was caused by a misalignment in the gas container fittings following refuelling.” This was followed by another tweet that said, “Unfortunately, two victims lost their lives – one near the site of the incident, and a second passer-by who was hit by debris. We extend our heartfelt condolences to their families, God rest their souls.”

A report in The National, which includes one of the viral videos, confirmed the same. ABS CBN News reported, as per the Department of Foreign Affairs UAE, two Philippine nationals were killed in an explosion at a restaurant in Sheikh Rashid Bin Seed Road, (also known as Airport Road) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Thus, the social media claim that the explosions occurred after Israeli commercial flight operations began in the UAE is false.

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About the Author

He joined as an intern in 2019. Until June 2022, his work primarily focused on fact-checking. Now his primary responsibilities include catalysing all aspects of organisational growth — from fundraising to development of new projects at Alt News. He attended the Asian College of Journalism (2015-16) and The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (2012-2015). In past, he worked at The Hindu and Zee Media's WION.
Tipline Bling: archit@altnews.in