Smoke rises from an open-air field, which also shows the debris of what looks like a crashed helicopter. These photos were going viral on social media along with the news that a helicopter had burst into flames mid-air in Pudukkottai district in Tamil Nadu on Friday morning and crashed. Charred debris amid tall, dry grass and visuals of a fire from an open field accompanied the tweets. However, officials have now clarified that this is fake and there has been no such accident in the district.
Helicopter crashed in Indiaâ€” Khalid (Halit ErtuÄźrul) (@khalid_pk) June 12, 2020
Tamil Nadu's Pudukkottai district, casualties reported pic.twitter.com/zPF9aR7inA
Helicopter crashes in Pudukkottai area of â€‹â€‹Indian state of Tamil Naduâ€” ZillayShahÂ® (@AlikhanSiraj) June 12, 2020
#IndianArmy #IndiaFightsCoronavirus pic.twitter.com/vFApkTGCUp
A civilian helicopter crashes in #TamilNadu's #Pudukkottai district. @AlphaWo40963407 @7ru7h_1 @manupubby @neeraj_rajput @Amansin40578878 @shubham_jain999 @ShivAroor pic.twitter.com/Gl1retcVrtâ€” Subodh Kumar Srivastava (@SriSubodhKmr) June 12, 2020
Friday morning was a busy time for Pudukkottai district officials who immediately rushed to the area at Melavasantham irrigation tank near Avudaiyarkoil where the incident was allegedly reported by residents. Those from the area had gathered upon hearing a loud booming sound, not unlike the sonic boom heard earlier last month in Bengaluru, and then later in Tamil Naduâ€™s Krishnagiri district.
However, when officials rushed to the site, it was confirmed that the viral message was entirely false and that no airborne helicopter had met with an accident in the area.
Pudukkottai district Collector P Uma Maheshwari shared a voice note with media persons where she clarified, â€śIt is a wrong message that is being spread. We will take strict action against those spreading it. Revenue Divisional Officer of Aranthangi, and Tahsildar of Avudaiyarkovil are inspecting the site. A dry Karuvelam tree has been burning in the area. No debris from a helicopter has been found anywhere in the vicinity. This is entirely fake.â€ť
Moreover, the image used on social media, that showed charred remains of a white and blue helicopter, is from the American National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball player Kobe Bryantâ€™s tragic accident. In January this year, the helicopter carrying Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others to a basketball game, crashed into the side of a mountain in California. This accident and the untimely demise of Kobe and his young daughter shocked and saddened many worldwide.