FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show The Ever Given Ship That Blocked The Suez Canal On Fire?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows a fire on the Ever Given cargo ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal earlier this year.

Verdict: False

The video shows a different cargo ship on fire off the coast of Sri Lanka.

Fact Check:

The Ever Given, a 200,000-ton container ship, became wedged in Egypt’s Suez Canal on March 23, blocking traffic through the waterway, CNBC reported. It was refloated and freed nearly a week later. (RELATED: Were ‘Kids And Body Parts’ Found On The Cargo Ship Blocking The Suez Canal?)

The Facebook post features a June 14 TikTok video showing a cargo ship ablaze with smoke billowing from it. “Why is the Ever Given (Evergreen) ship that blocked the Suez Canal, on fire?” reads text in the video. “The things that were found on this ship would break your heart a million times over.”

In reality, the ship in the video is not the Ever Given. The original footage without any text appears in a May 27 article from the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung, which indicated it showed a ship called the MV X-Press Pearl burning off Sri Lanka’s coast. Similar footage of the same ship can also be found in a Washington Post article. The vessel’s name is visible on its side in portions of the TikTok video.

Registered in Singapore, the MV X-Press Pearl caught fire May 20, burning for 13 days before starting to sink, according to CBS News. The ship, which was transporting chemicals, including many tons of nitric acid, and plastics, spilled massive quantities of plastic pellets into the sea, much of which ended up on Sri Lankan beaches, BBC News reported.

An internet search didn’t turn up a single credible media report about the Ever Given experiencing a large fire since it was dislodged from the Suez Canal in late March. The day after the Ever Given was refloated, Check Your Fact debunked a false rumor that the Defense Department said “kids and body parts” had been discovered onboard.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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