Photo shows wedding tent that collapsed in Indonesia, not 'deadly wedding accident in China'

·3 min read

A photo has been shared in multiple Facebook posts and blog articles that claim it shows the aftermath of an accident at a wedding reception in China that killed 37 people. However, the claim is false. The photo has previously circulated in Indonesian news reports from October 2020 about a wedding tent collapsing. The reports said there were no casualties.

The photo, which appears to show a large tent that has collapsed, was shared here on July 12, 2022 in a Facebook group with more than 40,000 members.

The post's Indonesian-language caption reads: "Verily to Allah We Belong and to Allah We Shall Return. A wedding party turns into a tragedy, 37 people dead including the bride and the groom on the spot. May they rest in peace."

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on July 18, 2022

The post shares a link of a July 2022 Indonesian-language blog article that has the same title as the Facebook post's caption.

"A happy moment suddenly turned to sadness. A wedding party brimming with happiness suddenly turned into a tragedy after a disaster happened," reads the first paragraph of the post.

It says a brick wall collapsed at a wedding party in China's Fujian province, killing 37 people.

The photo appeared in other July 2022 blog posts alongside a similar claim here and here, and in other Facebook posts here, here and here.

However, the photo has been shared in a false context.

Indonesian wedding tent collapse

A reverse image search on Google led to a report by Berita Manado, an online news portal based in Manado, the capital of Indonesia's North Sulawesi province.

The report, published on October 18, 2020, said the incident occurred in the province's North Bolaang Mongondow regency.

"Viral! Video Shows Moments Wedding Tent Collapses, Almost Falls on North Bolaang Mongondow Deputy Regent Amin Lasena," reads the report's headline.

Below is a screenshot of the photo in the Berita Manado news report:

Screenshot of the photo in the Berita Manado news report

The article also embedded a video of the incident.

Indonesian television station Kompas TV also published footage from the incident here on its YouTube channel on October 19, 2020, titled: "Strong Wind Causes Party Tent to Collapse, Guests to Scatter."

"Rain and strong wind in North Bolaang Mongondow regency, North Sulawesi caused a party tent to collapse. There were no casualties in this incident," the video's description partly reads.

"In the amateur video, residents can be seen running from the location of the wedding party."

Parts of the video show scenes similar to the image circulated in false posts.

Below is a comparison of the photo in the misleading posts (left) and a frame from the Kompas TV footage (right):

Wedding accident in China

A keyword search for wedding casualties in China's southeastern Fujian province led to this report by state-owned broadcaster CCTV on June 22, 2021.

"In Shanghang county, Longyan city, Fujian province, a brick wall fell, killing nine people and injuring seven others", reads the report's Chinese-language headline.

The report reads in part: "On June 22, at approximately 11:40 am, a group of people in Nanyang Village Group 13, Nanyang town, Shanghang county, Longyan city, Fujian province, had set up a banquet in an alley between the front and back of two homes. A sunshade cloth was attached to the two rooftops. Due to excess pressure on one side pulling on the surrounding brick wall of the roof, it collapsed and caused nine deaths and seven injuries."

AFP found no official reports about 37 people dying during a wedding reception in Fujian province as of July 20, 2022.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting