Photo shared in misleading posts does not show deadly explosion in Indonesia

·3 min read

A photo of a fire at a petrol station in Indonesia has been shared in blog posts that claim it shows an explosion in April 2022, which killed two toddlers. However, the claim is misleading: the photo has circulated in news reports about a fire in Indonesia in January 2022, in which police say no casualties were recorded.

The photo appeared in this Indonesian-language blog post, which does not have a timestamp but is visible in the site's list of posts published in April 2022.

Translated to English, the post's title reads, in part: “A gasoline truck exploded this afternoon. Two toddlers died and 28 others suffered burns during refueling of vehicles".

Screenshot of the misleading blog post, taken on May 26, 2022

"In an incident involving a gasoline truck today, two toddlers died and 28 others suffered burns when vehicles were being refueled. Bangko was shaken by a fire that engulfed several kiosks near the Sungai Misang gas station, Bangko district, Merangin regency, on Monday morning," reads one paragraph in the post.

Merangin regency is located in the Indonesian province of Jambi, on the eastern part of Sumatra island.

The photo also appeared in other blog posts, also published in April 2022, here and here alongside a similar claim.

Links to the blog posts were shared on Facebook in May 2022, such as here, here, here and here, with captions identical to the blog posts' title.

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, taken on May 25, 2022

But the claim is misleading.

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

According to the reports, the photo shows a fire outside that engulfed petrol kiosks in front of a gas station in Merangin on January 17, 2022.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading blog post (L) and the genuine photo in the Jernih.id report (R):

Screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading blog post (L) and the genuine photo in the Jernih.id report (R)

A different photo of the same incident was published here in an Indonesian-language report by news outlet iNews, also dated January 17, 2022, headlined: "Gasoline Truck Crashes Into Petrol Kiosks Then Catches Fire, 2 People Injured".

The photo's caption reads: "A gasoline truck crashes into streetside vendors and petrol kiosks  in Merangin".

Below is a screenshot comparison between the photo in the misleading post (L) and the iNews photo (R):

Screenshot comparison between the photo in the misleading post (L) and the iNews photo (R)

 

Indonesia’s state news agency Antara also covered the incident here on January 17, 2022, quoting a local police chief who said there were no casualties after the incident.

“The fire happened around 5 am and there are no casualties. Only a few kiosk owners suffered burns and have been treated at a local hospital," Merangin police chief Andy Purnamawan was quoted as saying in the Indonesian-language report.

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