FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Footage From Inside A Plane Moments Before It Crashed In China?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Twitter allegedly shows footage from inside a Boeing 737 plane moments before it crashed in southern China.

Verdict: False

The video is a digital simulation of an Ethiopian crash in 2019. It has nothing to do with the recent crash in China.

Fact Check: 

A China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 passenger plane carrying 132 passengers crashed into a hillside in the Guangxi region of China on Monday, according to BBC News. Rescue teams have not found any sign of survivors, and the cause of the crash is still under investigation, the outlet reported.

A video shared to Twitter, which has garnered over 300 retweets, appears to show a video from inside a plane plummeting toward the ground. Screaming can be heard throughout the 10-second video, “A Boeing 737 just crashed in southern China,” reads the tweet’s caption. “This was one of the last moment recorded on the plane. maybe the only moment. Viewers’ discretion advised.”

A reverse image search revealed the clip was originally shared on YouTube in March 2019 by user Bull Bosphorous with the title “Ethiopia Plane Crash, Ethiopia Airlines B737 MAX Crashes After Takeoff, Addis Ababa Airport [XP11].” The video was created using X-Plane 11, an online flight simulator, according to the title. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show A Russian SU-34 Shot Down Over Kyiv?)

The user, who regularly publishes simulation videos, provided the following disclaimer in the video’s description: “THIS IS NOT EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED, THIS IS ONLY A SIMULATED FLIGHT CRASH FOR ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES FLIGHT ET302.” Another video from the channel depicting a simulation of the Chinese plane crash does not feature the purported clip.

On March 10, 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crashed on its way to Nairobi, killing all 149 passengers and eight crew, according to AFP. The crash was reportedly caused by faulty sensor software giving the aircraft incorrect data, causing the plane to stall, NPR reported.

Actual footage of the Boeing 737 crash in China has been published by numerous outlets including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Bloomberg.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter

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