FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show The Helicopter Crash That Killed India’s Military Chief Bipin Rawat?
A video shared on Instagram allegedly shows the helicopter crash that took the lives of Indian Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others.
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The video shows a Syrian military helicopter being shot down by rebels in Idlib, Syria, in 2020.
The India Air Force announced on Twitter that a helicopter carrying Rawat, his wife and others crashed on its way to the town of Wellington in India’s Tamil Nadu state on Wednesday, killing him, his wife and 11 other people on-board. Rawat had served for over 40 years in India’s military and was the country’s first chief of defense staff, according to Republic World.
In the wake of the crash, Instagram and Facebook users shared a video purportedly showing the final moments before Rawat’s helicopter crashed. The footage, however, is unrelated to the incident in which Rawat died. (RELATED: Does This Image Show A Pakistani Helicopter In Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley?)
Check Your Fact found the same footage published on Feb. 11, 2020, on The Telegraph’s verified YouTube channel and the Sky News website, both of which reported it showed a Syrian military helicopter being shot down by rebels in Idlib, Syria. On the same day, the Associated Press posted a video taken from a different angle of what appears to be the same helicopter, also reporting the incident occurred in Syria.
CNN included video and photos of the aftermath of the helicopter crash that killed Rawat, his wife and 11 others in a broadcast report. An investigation into the cause of the crash has been launched, per BBC News.
Various public figures have expressed their condolences, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Funerals for Rawat and his wife were held on Friday, according to BBC News.