Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show European Parliament Headquarters Explosion -- Blast Happened Elsewhere

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show European Parliament Headquarters Explosion -- Blast Happened Elsewhere Different Spot

Does this video show an explosion at the European Parliament headquarters in Strasbourg, France? No, that's not true: A press officer for the European Parliament told Lead Stories that the claim video portrayed "inaccurate information" and, "There was no such event at the European Parliament." Local media in Strasbourg reported on violence in the area near the European Parliament headquarters, but nothing at the actual building itself. At the time of writing, the European Parliament was in session at the site, and there were no reports in news media or public accounts by members of any explosion at the headquarters.

The claim appeared on Twitter (archived here) on July 3, 2023. The caption read:

πŸ‡«πŸ‡· | #France | An explosion is reported at the official headquarters of the European Parliament, in #Strasbourg. #FranceHasFallen #FranceRiots #FranceOnFire

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-07-11 at 10.19.29 AM.png

Twitter screenshot(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Tue Jul 11 14:27:15 2023 UTC)

The only audio heard in the video is the sound of explosions. The imagery seen in the video are multiple reddish explosions.

Lead Stories contacted the European Parliament to ask if an explosion had happened there recently. In a July 11, 2023, email, Ana Alegre, a press officer for the European Parliament wrote:

Thanks for checking with us. There was no such event in the European Parliament. This is inaccurate information.

At the time of writing, the European Parliament was in its plenary session. All members of Parliament meet there once a month for four days to debate and vote on a series of issues in multiple meetings, or plenary sessions. Here is a screenshot of the livestream of the session from July 11, 2023:

Screenshot 2023-07-11 at 1.36.42 PM.png

(Source: Europarl.europa.eu screenshot taken on Tue Jul 11 15:41:25 2023 UTC)

At the top of the image in light blue, the site tells visitors that this plenary session is happening from July 10 through July 13, 2023, at their headquarters in Strasbourg. This session would not be happening there had their headquarters exploded.

The link to the livestream of July's plenary session is here.

There are no Google News reports on a European Parliament headquarters explosion. Local media for the Strasbourg area reported on "urban violence" in the city's Cronenbourg district in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Nahel Merzouk by a police officer in a Paris suburb on June 27, 2023. The original article is in French and was translated to English using Google Translate. There is no mention of the European Parliament headquarters exploding or being damaged in this article. It reports that 74 vehicles and two schools had been burned due to the violence.

Other Lead Stories articles on the summer 2023 French riots are here.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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