New York Post’s use of old India gas leak picture causes confusion

10 May 2021
What was claimed

A picture showing people unwell on the streets of India shows the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our verdict

This image was used in an article written by the New York Post about the Covid-19 pandemic. But it actually comes from a video taken in 2020 after a gas leak in Visakhapatnam, India.

We have been asked by readers to fact check claims that media outlets are re-using images from a gas leak in India to illustrate a story on the Covid-19 death toll.

Posts on social media show a screenshot of a New York Post article with the headline “COVID surge ‘swallowing’ people in India, footage shows people dead in streets”, which contains a picture of a young woman leant over an older woman lying in a street. This is posted next to screenshots from other media organisations describing a gas leak in India in 2020, showing what is clearly a slightly different view of the same scene.

The pictures of this scene are from footage following a gas leak in Visakhapatnam, India in May 2020. It does not depict scenes related to the current Covid-19 crisis in India in 2021.

The New York Post has since removed the video that was featured in the screenshot from the article, with a correction note that says: “An earlier version of this story included an Eyepress video provided by Reuters, which incorrectly identified gas leak victims as COVID-19 victims.” It has also changed the headline to remove mention of bodies in the streets.

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