Hyderabad: An Air India Express flight overshot the tabletop runway while landing at Kerala’s Kozhikode International Airport on 7 August killing 18 people and leaving more than 150 others injured. The flight from Dubai landed 35-feet below the hill.
Malayalam news organization Mathrubhumi claimed that 40 victims rescued from the crash tested positive for COVID-19. Although the channel has deleted the news story, a tweet by Mathrubhumi News’ verified handle featuring the URL of the article has not been removed yet. The tweet reads: “40 Flight Crash Victims Test Positive For COVID 19 tv.mathrubhumi.com/news/kerala/fc…#KaripurFlightCrash #COVID19.”
— Mathrubhumi News (@mathrubhuminews) August 8, 2020
Purav Patel, a senior special correspondent at News Nation, also claimed that 40 passengers had tested positive and had tweeted about it as well.
#AirIndiaExpress Crash 40 people on board the crashed plane tested positive for #COVID19. The district administration instructed all those involved in the rescue operation to be under #Quarantine.
See the Morning Visual From #Karipurairport pic.twitter.com/SBSSO8kBge
— Purav Patel News Nation (@purav222) August 8, 2020
Click here to view the archive of the Mathrubhumi TV’s tweet.
FACT CHECK :
The claim that 40 victims of Kerala plane crash tested positive for COVID-19 is FALSE.
On 8 August 2020, the district collector of Malappuram, K. Gopalakrishnan, had tweeted that the news was “fake” and refuted the claim.
— District collector, Malappuram (@CollectorMlpm) August 8, 2020
Also, Asian News International had, in a tweet, confirmed that the claim was false. “All the accident victims will be tested for COVID including those who died in the crash. So far, only one victim has tested positive for Coronavirus: Kerala Chief Minister’s Office (CMO),” it had tweeted.
All the accident victims will be tested for COVID including those who died in the crash. So far, only one victim has tested positive for Coronavirus: Kerala Chief Minister's Office (CMO)
— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2020
Kerala minister K.T Jaleel had said that of the 18 people killed only one had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. PTI had quoted him as saying, “One of the 18 passengers who died in Kozhikode flight crash has tested COVID-19 positive.”
There are no credible news reports that claim that 40 passengers tested positive for COVID-19. Hence, the claim is FALSE.
This fact check has been published as part of the Internews Information Saves Lives: Rapid Response Fund project to NewsMeter