This photo does not show a 'gas truck fire that killed two toddlers in Indonesia'

·3 min read

A photo has been shared in multiple Facebook posts and blog articles alongside a claim it shows a gas truck fire that killed two toddlers in Indonesia. The photo has been shared in a false context. It has circulated since January 2022 in news reports about a fire in Indonesia's Jambi province, which police said caused no fatalities.

The photo of a petrol truck engulfed in smoke on the side of a road appeared in this post, uploaded on July 6, 2022, in a Facebook group with more than 22,000 members.

The post's Indonesian-language caption reads: "Verily to Allah We Belong and to Allah We Shall Return. A gasoline truck today. 2 toddlers died and 28 others suffered burns during refuelling of vehicles. May they rest in peace Amen... MOJOKERTO."

Mojokerto is a city in Indonesia's East Java province.

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, taken on July 11, 2022

The post shares a link of an Indonesian-language blog article, which was published in July 2022.

The headline is almost identical with the Facebook post's caption, but it does not mention any location.

Screenshot of the misleading blog article, taken on July 13, 2022


The link to the blog article was also shared in other Facebook posts in July 2022, claiming the deadly incident happened in other cities, such as Garut, in western Java, here and Padang, in western Sumatra, here.

The image has been published with the same headline in other blog posts here, here, here, here and here.

According to the blog posts, "A fire took place at several kiosks near the Sungai Misang gas station, Bangko district, Merangin regency, on Monday morning, January 17, 2022."

Merangin regency is located in Jambi province, on Indonesia's Sumatra island.

But the photo has been shared in a false context.

A reverse image search on Google found that the photo was published in reports on a fire by local news outlets in Jambi here and here in January 2022.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading blog post (left) and the image published by local media (right):

Screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading blog posts (left) and the image published by local media (right)

The first report by Jambi Update cited a witness as saying that the incident began when a petrol truck crashed into a kiosk causing the fire.

Several other kiosks were destroyed in the incident on January 17, 2022, according to the report.

Another photo of the same incident was published here in an Indonesian-language report by news outlet iNews, also dated January 17, 2022.

It is headlined: "Gasoline Truck Crashes Into Petrol Kiosks Then Catches Fire, 2 People Injured".

According to this police statement on the same day, two people suffered burns in the incident in Merangin regency, but there were no fatalities.

"As for the victims, two people suffered burns in this incident," the statement said.

"This incident took place on Monday, January 17, 2022, at 05.00 Western Indonesia Time."

AFP previously debunked a similar claim about the deadly fire that used another photo from the blaze in Merangin.

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