VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB page recycles Mexico plant blast clip, FALSELY claims it is Saudi blast

A Facebook (FB) page recently re-uploaded a nine-year-old clip of an explosion in Mexico, falsely claiming it to be footage of a recent drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil facility Saudi Aramco.

The post, published Sept. 18 by FB page Talkie Walkie, features a 104-second-long clip showing how a gas plant was set ablaze through a series of explosions. It was captioned: “Drone attack on ARAMCO oil pipeline in saudia arabia…”

Several netizens, including Filipino workers based in Saudi Arabia, have decried the post to be “fake” in FB page’s comments section.

Talkie Walkie’s clip is not of the Sept. 14 drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil facility. The video is actually a closed circuit television (CCTV) footage of a Sept. 18, 2012 explosion at petroleum company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in Tamaulipas, Mexico.

A reverse image search of the video’s frames traces the oldest copy of the Pemex explosion to a 105-second clip uploaded Dec. 11, 2012 on Youtube by the channel “Xidomega”. The English text in its caption read: “This video of Reynosa -Mexico at Pemex refinery explosion that killed 30 last September CCTV - Explosion on Refinery in Mexico! Like an Action Movie Scene! - Occurred on 9/19/12.”

The video, which has been viewed 300,000 times on Facebook, made the rounds on the Web after the Sept. 14 drone attacks on Aramco’s oil plants in Abqaiq and Khurais, claimed to be done by the Houthi rebels of Yemen. This is the second misleading resurrection of the Pemex explosion video this year, after it was also reposted a number of times in May falsely claiming it to be that of earlier drone attacks on two Aramco facilities that month.

Talkie Walkie’s Facebook post was shared 3,600 times and got around 3,200 reactions from social media users.


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