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HomeFact CheckOld Video Showing Cargo Ship On Fire Off Sri Lankan Coast Falsely...

Old Video Showing Cargo Ship On Fire Off Sri Lankan Coast Falsely Shared As Israeli Vessel Bombed By Yemen

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim

Yemen bombs Israeli cargo ship ‘Unity Explorer’ amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The archived version of the tweet can be seen here.

Fact

Newshchecker first ran a keyword search for “Yemen bombs cargo ship Israel”, which led us to multiple news reports, seen here and here, on the incident, stating that Yemen’s Houthi movement said its navy had attacked two Israeli ships, Unity Explorer and Number 9, with an armed drone and a naval missile. However, none of the reports featured the viral video, raising our doubts.

Newschecker then ran a reverse image search of keyframes of the video, which led us to this CNN Indonesia report, dated May 26, 2021, which when translated from Indonesian, read, “The fire on a Singapore-flagged cargo ship off the coast of Colombo, Sri Lanka, cannot yet be controlled. Initially the fire was discovered at the front of the ship on May 20. Extinguishing has been carried out but it turns out the fire is still there.”

We also came across this tweet, dated May 26, 2021, by Sri Lanka-based news outlet, Daily Mirror.

A relevant keyword search led us to multiple news reports about the disaster, seen here, here and here.  “The cargo vessel – MV ‘X-Press Pearl’- was carrying a consignment of chemicals and raw materials for cosmetics from Hazira in Gujarat to Colombo Port on May 20 when it caught fire some 9.5 nautical miles away from the port of Colombo,” read an NDTV report, dated May 30, 2021, adding that all 25 crew members of the ship — of Indian, Chinese, Filipino and Russian nationalities — were rescued.

“After 12 days, the ship MV X-Press Pearl finally sank about 9.5 nautical miles from the Colombo harbour. It has not sunk fully because it is touching a coral bed. The ship had been burning from May 20; an explosion six days later brought disaster in the form of small white plastic pellets spread around almost one third of the coastline from Galle to Kalpitiya,” read a Groundviews report, dated June 3, 2021.

Also Read: Old Video From Georgia Supermarket Falsely Linked To 2023 Chennai Floods

Result: False

Sources
Tweet, Daily Mirror, May 26, 2021,
CNN Indonesia report, May 26, 2021


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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