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Only One Doctor Among 17 Women Part Of The Bus Crash Near Karnataka’s Dharwad District

An image shared multiple times on social media claims that 17 female gynaecologist professors of a medical college in Davangere, Karnataka died due to their bus crashing on Bangalore-Pune highway last week. The claim includes three images. Two showing a group of women and one of a crashed bus. 

We received this claim on our Whatsapp verification helpline number. The claim reads, “RIP. 17 lady doctors all #gynaecologist professors of JJMM College Davengere, Karnataka going from Davengere to Goa on picnic trip died on spot on Bengaluru Pune highway when their minibus crashed with a sand laden tipper at DHARWAD at 7.30am on Friday.”

Screenshot of  the claim in context
Screenshot of the claim in context
Screenshot of  the claim in context
Screenshot of the claim in context

The claim was shared multiple times on Twitter and Facebook as well. 

Fact Check/ Verification 

With a combination of Google reverse image search and relevant keywords we came across news reports which included the viral images and detailed the accident near Dharwad on Pune-Bangalore National Highway. 

The women travelling were alumni of St Paul’s Convent, Davangere, who were on their way to Goa, as per the New Indian Express (NIE) article

Manjula, a senior teacher of their school, “could not be consoled. She said that she especially remembered the services of Dr Veena Prakash, who worked as a well-known gynaecologist at Davangere city,” read the NIE article.

As per more news reports, of the 17 women travelling to Goa, all of whom were classmates of St Paul’s Convent, there was only one doctor among those who died. Dr Veena Prakash worked as a gynecologist at JJM Medical College at Davanagere. 

Dr Prasanna Anaberu, professor at the orthopedics department in JJM Medical College told India Today Anti Fake News War Room that only one among the travellers was a doctor who died. She was a professor at the gynecology department of JMM Medical College. Apart from her, Usha Ram and Preeti Ravikumar, were wives of doctors.

Further, we reached out to Dharwad Rural police and spoke with PSI Mahendra Kumar Naik, who said that of the 17 women travelling, nine died, and the rest were injured and currently in medical care. There were also wives of doctors who were part of the group. 

The accident took place on the morning of 15 January 2021 and the images in the claim are from the accident, confirmed PSI Naik. 

PM Narendra Modi and Karnataka’s CM BS Yediyurappa took to Twitter on 15 January to pass on their condolences. 

Conclusion

The posts claiming the death of 17 female gynaecologist professors in a bus crash near Dharwad, Karnataka is misleading. Only one among the nine dead, Dr Veena, was a professor at the gynecology department of JMM Medical College. 

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

New Indian Express: https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2021/jan/15/dharwad-road-mishap11-former-students-of-st-pauls-convent-lose-their-lives-in-accident-2250606.html

Times Of India: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hubballi/11-dead-as-minibus-hits-tipper-near-dharwad/articleshow/80295444.cms

Indian Express: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/karnataka-13-dead-after-minibus-collides-with-truck-7148199/

India Today (AFNWR): https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-viral-post-claiming-death-of-17-female-docs-in-karnataka-bus-crash-is-misleading-1760296-2021-01-18

PMO Narendra Modi: https://twitter.com/PMOIndia/status/1349981637086498816?s=20

CM of Karnataka, BS Yediyurappa: https://twitter.com/CMofKarnataka/status/1350004251183878145?s=20


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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