Does this video actually show damage to a Paris building from a gas explosion last month, as a Twitter Community Note suggests? No, that's not true: This video shows the collapse of a pharmacy building in the town of Montargis, France. The fire had been set by vandals and looters in the night, and the smoldering building finally collapsed on the afternoon of June 30, 2023.
The Twitter community note was written by a contributor -- a Twitter user -- in an effort to add context to a tweet posted by conservative columnist and podcaster Benny Johnson on July 1, 2023. The community note offered incorrect information that was unrelated to the video posted by Johnson, along with a link to an article in the French publication Le Monde, about the unrelated Paris gas explosion on June 21, 2023. The note reads:
Currently rated helpful · Shown on Twitter · Jul 3
Provides important context · Directly addresses the Tweet's claim
This is the result of a gas explosion in Paris last month --
(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Thu Jul 6 22:09:54 2023 UTC)
The scope of this fact check is not Johnson's tweet which is mostly opinion. The tweet was captioned:
Historic buildings in France that survived bombardment in WW2 can not survive the cultural 'enrichment' of open borders. Tells you everything you need to know.
This fact check will not delve into the history of this pharmacy building or if it survived a WWII bombardment. The Community Note attached to this tweet is incorrect, the building is not in Paris and it was not damaged by a gas explosion. This building in Montargis, France, more than two hours from Paris by car, was set on fire by vandals and looters and eventually collapsed.
In the composite image below, an April 2023 Google Streetview image of the pharmacy on rue Dorée in Montargis before the fire and ultimate collapse of the burned structure on the afternoon of June 30, 2023, can be compared to a screenshot from the video of the collapse which was posted by Johnson on July 1, 2023.
(Image source: Lead Stories composite image with Google Streetview and Twitter screenshots taken on Thu Jul 06 22:46:03 2023 UTC)
An article published on June 30, 2023, in La Republique (translated by Google) is titled, "In Montargis, the pharmacy on rue Dorée collapsed" The article opens:
During the night of Thursday 29 to Friday 30 June, the town center of Montargis and its shopping street, rue Dorée, were the victim of vandalism. The windows of the shops were smashed, the pharmacy and shops were looted and then set on fire . Shortly before 4 p.m., the Mirabeau pharmacy, at the corner of rue du Loing and rue Dorée, collapsed.
Another article published the same day, titled, "The day after a night of looting and looting in the Loiret, the inhabitants of Montargis in shock", focuses on the chaos in the town and has photos of many other buildings which sustained damage.