Hyderabad: Controversial Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks was killed in a car crash on October 4, 2021.

Social media users are sharing pictures of the artist along with an image of a yellow sports car in flames.

"Swedish artist Lars Vilks, known for his blasphemous depiction of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in 2007, dies in a car accident along with police officers who had been assigned to protect him," reads the caption of the picture.

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Fact Check

The claim is Misleading.

NewsMeter firstly searched for the reason behind the death of the artist, which led us to a report by Al Jazeera published on October 4, 2021.

According to the report, "Vilks, who had lived under police protection since the drawings were published, was traveling in a police car that collided with a truck. The car, which had left Stockholm and was heading south, veered into the path of the truck and both vehicles burst into flames. Two police officers were also killed. The truck driver was flown to a hospital with serious injuries. Police said they did not know why the car drove into the wrong lane but they were investigating whether a tyre might have exploded. The car transporting Vilks had puncture-proof tyres, police said. However, exploded tyre remains were reportedly found on the road."

The team then performed a Google Reverse Image Search of the image of the burning car, which led us to a report by Motorids published on April 13, 2015.

According to a report, a Porsche 911 Turbo met with an accident at the Outer Ring Road (ORR) in Hyderabad.

"The Speed Yellow 997 Turbo (MH 12 AP 0055) was doing some serious speeds (150-200 kmph or maybe more), before a standing patch of water on the road made it aquaplane*, lose control, and hit the barrier. On impact, the car's front end completely disintegrated and the whole car was engulfed in flames. Thankfully, the driver escaped with minor injuries and no other road users were affected," reads the report.

The team then found reports by Zero 2 Turbo and Hindustan Times published on the same day. According to both the reports, the driver of the car survived the accident. However, the car got burnt completely and in a terrible way.

"The owner was businessman R Ravi Kumar who was on his way to the airport and it is believed that this was the only Porsche 997 Turbo in this color in India. Safe to say there is now no Porsche 997 Turbo in this color in India," reads the report by Zero 2 Turbo.

Meanwhile, Hindustan Times carried the image of the burning car but from a different angle. According to the report, the man who was identified as Ravi Kumar, a resident of Shaikpet, was driving the car at a speed of around 150-200kmph, when the accident took place. After the accident, a fire tender was rushed to the spot, and Ravi was taken to the hospital for his treatment. However, the car was completely destroyed by the fire.

The team found the video of the incident aired on YouTube channel 'WildFilmsIndia' on April 14, 2015.

"High speed, rain, and loss of traction worked collectively to get the driver in a tight spot. He lost control over the car. Luckily he is alive. The blame is being laid on the water surface that caused the vehicle to become unresponsive momentarily, as it hit a divider. Upon impact, the Porsche 911 Turbo caught fire. No other road user was injured in the freak accident. The impact was such that car pieces could be found at a distance from the burning spot. It is possible traction control was off and applying brakes when the car aquaplaned bore no result. After hitting a steel railing, the Porsche 911 Turbo front axle and bumper fell apart. A crack appeared on the impact side. With the right side severely damaged, fuel tank impact triggered a quickfire (sic)," reads the description of the video

It is therefore evident that the claim is misleading.

Claim Review :   Image from Swedish artist Lars Vilks car crash
Claimed By :  Social Media Users
Fact Check :  Misleading

Tejal Sinha

Tejal Sinha is currently a Fact Checker at NewsMeter. She is pursuing Masters in Journalism and Communication from St Francis College for Women. She is open to learning new things while exploring the road to unbiased journalism. She has also been awarded best report by women journalists, 2021. You can follow Tejal on Twitter @SinhaTejal

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