Was there an explosion near the Pentagon on May 22, 2023? No, that's not true: This is not a real photo but a digitally fabricated image that shows a plume of smoke near a building that slightly resembles the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense in Arlington, Virginia. The building in the image is not the Pentagon, nor is this is a real photo. Arlington Fire & EMS has issued a statement on Twitter responding to these posts -- There was NO explosion or incident taking place at or near the Pentagon reservation, and there was no immediate danger or hazard to the public.
The image was surfaced by many accounts on Twitter, one example is a tweet (archived here) that was published by @whalechart on May 22, 2023. It was captioned:
BREAKING: Explosion near Pentagon
This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:
(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Mon May 22 15:44:58 2023 UTC)
This is not a real image. On May 22, 2023, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency and Arlington Fire & EMS responded to these false claims on Twitter with a tweet (pictured below) stating:
@PFPAOfficial and the ACFD are aware of a social media report circulating online about an explosion near the Pentagon. There is NO explosion or incident taking place at or near the Pentagon reservation, and there is no immediate danger or hazards to the public.