VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video footage IS NOT from the Jan. 9 Indonesian plane crash

A four-year-old video of an aircraft experiencing severe turbulence is falsely being peddled by Facebook (FB) page The World Around you as in-flight footage from an Indonesian plane that crashed less than a week ago.

The two-minute TikTok video, which shows several seated passengers crying and others praying aloud, was re-uploaded by the FB page on Jan. 11 and spuriously titled “Inside Indonesia airline before crashing,” and captioned "Tears and crying in Indonesia airline before crashing."

It is actually a clip from a May 2016 CNN report about Flight EY474 of Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta.

The page The World Around you misled FB users into thinking that it was footage from Sriwijaya Air Flight 182, which crashed into the Java Sea four minutes after takeoff last Jan. 9.

The Boeing 737-500 plane bound for Pontianak, a city on the island of Borneo, had carried 62 people. Wreckage and human remains have been recovered but no survivor has been found.

The FB page showed an old video from the May 4, 2016 flight of Etihad. The A330-200 Airbus experienced “severe and unexpected turbulence” about 45 minutes before arriving at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Thirty-one passengers were injured as a result, but the plane was able to land safely.

The TikTok account (@rakyatbiasa_1), whose username can be seen in The World Around you’s video, no longer exists. But a similarly named account (@rakyatbiasa_0) that regularly uploads aircraft videos bears a copy of the clip re-uploaded by the FB page.

The CNN video was visibly credited to a certain Dewi Rachmayani via Indonesian citizen journalism platform NET Citizen Journalist (netcj.co.id). An archived version of the original video on NET’s website remains accessible. Its title, translated from Bahasa Indonesia, read: “EXCLUSIVE: Seconds after Etihad Plane Shaken.”

The Boeing 737-500 in the Sriwijaya flight and Etihad’s A330-200 aircraft also have one major difference. The former is a narrow-body aircraft which only has one aisle, while the latter is a wide-body aircraft with two aisles as seen in the CNN video.

A look at the erroneous post’s FB comments and shares revealed that it has received many engagements from Filipino FB accounts, although it appears to have gotten interactions from other countries in the region, namely Indonesia and Myanmar. It has over 650 reactions, 66 comments, and 305 shares. The video has also gotten 54,000 views.

The World Around you was created last July 14.


(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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