Several Pakistani Twitter and Facebook users have shared an image of a crashed Indian Air Force chopper. The image is viral on social media with the text, “Indians please check is this your M17crashed in Laddakh? We will keep you posted of any development”

This image was posted by Pakistan-based news anchor Mubasher Lucman. He claims to be an investigative journalist in his Twitter bio. His tweet has been retweeted over 1,400 times since September 13. (archived link)

The photograph has been shared against the backdrop of India-China border dispute which caused the death of 20 Indian army soldiers in the month of June. Since then, China has occupied many areas which were considered disputed, according to The Indian Express. Indian Army has however gained an advantage by taking the Chushul heights in Ladakh.

A similar trend was observed on Facebook.

Image from 2018

Alt News performed a reverse image search on Google. The results led us to multiple media reports from 2018. The viral image was published by The Times of India (TOI), International Business Times and India TV. As per TOI report, a MI-17 helicopter reportedly caught fire after it hit an iron girder while it was attempting to land on a helipad near the Kedarnath temple on April 3, 2018. The report added that one person was killed and three were injured in this accident.

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We also found a one-minute video by NDTV on YouTube from April 3, 2018. The video shows the helicopter crashing while attempting to land.

Thus a two-year-old image was shared with the false claim that an Indian MI-17 chopper crashed in Ladakh.

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About the Author

Archit is a graduate in English Literature from The MS University of Baroda. He also holds a post-graduation diploma in journalism from the Asian College of Journalism. Since then he has worked at Essel Group's English news channel at WION as a trainee journalist, at S3IDF as a fundraising & communications officer and at The Hindu as a reporter. At Alt News, he works as a fact-checking journalist.