On December 8, the Indian Air Force tweeted shocking news that an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. IAF added that an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident. As per media reports, 13 out of 14 passengers died in the crash including Mr and Mrs Rawat.

In the backdrop of this, multiple social media users have posted a video of a chopper in flames and claimed it shows the recent crash. Twitter user @_SirDonBradman_ posted this video and wrote, “Bipin Rawat Helicopter Crashed In Tamil Nadu Video.” This video has been viewed close to one lakh times. Twitter user @MarwadiClub also posted this video.

It was also shared by Facebook pages Times Media 24 and Assam123 News. Both pages have over two lakh followers.

Bipin Rawat Helicopter Crashed In Tamil Nadu Video.

#bipinrawat #IndianArmy #IndianAirForce #HelicopterCrash #TamilNadu

Posted by Times Media 24 on Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Video from 2020

The Hindu reported that the IAF helicopter which took off from Sulur airbase was on its way to Defence Services Staff College in Wellington. Unlike the viral video, The Hindu reported that the helicopter caught fire on the impact on the ground and search and rescue efforts were immediately launched. Thus viral video is not related to the incident at hand.

Alt News performed a reverse image search and found that the video dates back to February 2020. It was posted by Athens-based journalist Babak Taghvaee. As per his tweet, the video shows Syria Arab Air Force’s Mi-17 shot down by the Turkish Army near the Syrian town of Al-Nayrab.

Alt News isn’t able to verify the details of the video. However, it cannot be related to the recent crash. To sum it up, an old video from Syria that shows a chopper crashing down is shared with the false claim that it depicts the Indian Air Force chopper which crashed on December 8.

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About the Author

Archit is a senior fact-checking journalist at Alt News. Previously, he has worked as a producer at WION and as a reporter at The Hindu. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at S3IDF.