Fake News: NO Large Explosion In Wuhan, China, Tied To Coronavirus Outbreak

Fact Check

  • by: Eric Ferkenhoff
Fake News: NO Large Explosion In Wuhan, China, Tied To Coronavirus Outbreak

Did a new video show a large explosion in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak responsible for killing dozens and sickening thousands? No, that's not true: The video, which is recirculated footage, is actually of a massive explosion in Tianjin, China, in August of 2015 that killed scores of people, including 104 firefighters. But it appears to have resurfaced to drum up conspiracies surrounding the coronavirus outbreak at a time that the world is on edge due to the rapid escalation of the virus.

The footage making its way around social media can be found in a video published January 25, 2020, on YouTube, titled "Large Explosion in Wuhan, China 武汉 病毒" (archived here) which opened:

#coronavirus 武汉 病毒 Large Explosion in Wuhan, China just happened about an hour ago #wuhan #WuhanCoronavirus 1/24/2020

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Large Explosion in Wuhan, China 武汉 病毒

#coronavirus 武汉 病毒 Large Explosion in Wuhan, China just happened about an hour ago #wuhan #WuhanCoronavirus 1/24/2020

The explosion shown in the video has no relation to the Coronavirus outbreak, which has so far killed 80, sickened many thousands more and has caused large portions of China affecting 56 million people to be locked down while other countries scramble to get their citizens out of the area. So far, the virus has spread to 10 other countries, and there have been five confirmed cases in the United States.

New hospitals are being built to care for the thousands of sickened people near the epicenter of the health crisis, but there have been no official reports of accidents tied to that construction.

The video making the rounds now is actually traced to an August 12, 2015, series of explosions in Tianjin, China, that killed more than 160 people. Another eight were reported missing and nearly 800 people were injured when a series of explosions rocked the area. The real explosion, or series of explosions, happened at a container storage station at the Port of Tianjin. The first explosion is the one being shown in the recirculated video.

But the following explosions in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin, China, were far larger, involving the detonation of about 800 tons of ammonium nitrate. More explosions in Tianjin continued through August 15, 2015, as the initial explosions burned out of control. The cause, according to an investigation that concluded in February of 2016, was an overheated container of dry nitrocellulose.

Here is a video from BBC, submitted by witnesses, of the actual explosions:

We wrote about youtube.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Eric Ferkenhoff

Eric Ferkenhoff has been a reporter, editor and professor for 27 years, working chiefly out of the Midwest and now the South. Focusing on the criminal and juvenile justice systems, education and politics, Ferkenhoff has won several journalistic and academic awards and helped start a fact-checking project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he continues to teach advanced reporting. Ferkenhoff also writes and edits for the juvenile justice site JJIE.org.

 

Read more about or contact Eric Ferkenhoff

About us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a U.S. based fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Follow us on social media

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion