Media and Social Media Users Share Unrelated Images as the Train Set Ablaze in Kerala…

Missing Context National

On Sunday night, a man poured an inflammable fluid on his co-passengers and set them on fire while traveling on the Alappuzha-Kannur Express near Kozhikode, Kerala. The incident occurred while the train was passing over the Korapuzha Railway Bridge. The passengers were able to stop the train and escape, but unfortunately, three people, including a 2-year-old child, died, and eight others were injured. While reporting on the incident in Kerala where a man set a moving train on fire and fled, media organizations have used unrelated images. Additionally, some social media users have shared these images.

However, these images are not related to the incident that took place on Sunday near Kozhikode in Kerala. You can see below a tweet about the incident in Kerala from a Twitter handle named Hindu Post. The tweet contains the image of a burning train.

Archived Link

The same image has been used by news service IANS as well. You can see the image credited to IANS. The article nowhere mentions that this is a representative image.

Read full article here – IANS | Archived Link

Zee News used the same image in their report on the incident. The report also does not specify anywhere whether the image is intended to be a representative image or the actual image of the incident. 

Read full article here – Zee News | Archived Link

Another image used while reporting this incident shows railway coaches burning as a man passes by. Opindia and some Twitter users have used the image.

Read full article here – Opindia | Archived Link

Archived Tweet

Let us find out whether these images are actually related to the incident in Kerala or not. 

Fact Check

We did a Google reverse image search on both the images and found the images to be old and unrelated. The first image is of a separate incident that took place in New Delhi railway station. On 6 September 2019, the electric car of Chandigarh-Kochuvelli Express caught fire while stationed at New Delhi railway station.

In the video given above, we can see at 21 seconds that the train seen in the image shared by IANS and Zee is indeed of the train that caught fire at New Delhi railway station more than 3 years ago.

Additionally, the coaches were set on fire while the Kannur-Alappuzha Express train was passing through a railway bridge, not while it was stationed. Similarly, the second photo is also old and unrelated to the incident. The photo is not even from India, but rather from South Africa depicting burning coaches of a train.

Read full article here – Sowetan | Archived Link

The image was found in an article published on the website of Sowetan Live. The article was published in January 2020. The caption of the photo says, “A crowd gathered to watch flames consuming a train between Kentemade and Century City stations, in Cape Town, on January 25 2020. Image: Esa Alexander

Dispatch Live and Herald Live also used this image in their reports on the same incident. The reports say that the coaches caught fire between Century City and Kentemade stations in January 2020. The coaches were reportedly empty.


Media outlets and certain social media users have shared images that are not relevant to the Kerala train-burning incident. The first picture is from a previous occurrence in Delhi, while the other one is from South Africa.


Title:Media and Social Media Users Share Unrelated Images as the Train Set Ablaze in Kerala…

Fact Check By: Harish Nair 

Result: Missing Context