The World Health Organisation has declared COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern, the internet is flooded with old and unrelated content adding up to the chaos among the masses. The internet is filled with content claiming to have the cure, cause, precaution of COVID-19. Wuhan, a Chinese city is believed to be the epicentre of the virus outbreak. A video of a car smashing into police vehicles is going viral with the claim that the incident took place at a police roadblock in Wuhan and some of passengers of the vehicle escaped from Wuhan further spreading the virus further to the North, South and East.
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We started our investigation by trying to find news reports related to the lock down in Wuhan. According to reports ,in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19, authorities placed the city Wuhan under an unprecedented lockdown in January 2020, blocking off roads and halting nearly all transportation in and out of the city.
Next we started used a keyword search on Weibo, which is a Chinese social networking site where we found this video uploaded on February 2017 by the verified account of Fire Elephant Films. The post includes a recording of a TV news report on a Heilongjiang Television Station programme that shows the same crash footage, which at the time was being falsely shared online as being an authentic footage.
We went through the comments on the video which also suggested that the viral video was a part of a film. A simple keyword search revealed that Fire Elephant Films was the Huoxiang (Shanghai) Film and Television Culture Development Company.
Next, we started a keyword search on iQiyi that is an online video platform in China, which led us to a very similar video saying that the release time of the clip in the year 2018. This video had similar footage like the viral video but it was a film shooting. Since the headline of the video was in Chinese, we used Chinese OCR search and found that the headline loosely translated in English would be “Movie ‘The Blizzard’ Special Episode on Car Racing”.
A keyword search about the movie lead us to find the movie on the Chinese Movie International Database by the name “The Blizzard” which was completed in the year 2017.
Below you can see a comparison image between the screenshot of the viral video and the video we found on Weibo in the year 2017.
We also found that the same car parked on the road with the number “A3105” on it.
This proves that both the videos are from the same incident which was originally a film shooting.
Conclusion- Fact Crescendo concluded that the above video is False. The viral video is not related to Coronavirus or Wuhan as this video dates back to 2017. Moreover, the video does not show any real incident. It is a film shooting from 2017 from Heilongjiang ,China.
Title:Was there a car crash in Wuhan due to a police road block created due to COVID-19? No, this is Fake News!Fact Check By: Aavya Ray