A video is making the rounds online purporting to show the final scene onboard the doomed Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 that crashed near Addis Ababa minutes after its take off.
There is a silent panic among the passengers, but the their ordeal is amplified by the cries of babies.
In the video, all passengers can be seen wearing masks as flight attendants try to comfort and assist everyone.
The video is posted on Facebook with a caption “SO HEART-BREAKING!!”, claiming it to be an “exclusive video” of the Ethiopian Airlines ET302 moments before the tragic incident took place.
The video, which has already attracted more than 2.6 million views, shows the anguish and fear in the faces of the passengers, catching their breath through oxygen masks.
The footage indeed stirs emotions—inexplicable sorrow among many. But is the video taken inside the ill-fated Ethiopian plane?
The Filipino Times did a fact check and it found two clear indications that the video was not taken from the scenes of the March 10 crash near Addis Ababa.
First, the plane crashed just six minutes before it was reported to have crashed. The Guardian reported that the highest altitude it reached was 8,600 feet above sea level, which is why it is dubious for the oxygen mask to have fallen at that height.
Oxygen masks only drop when the pressure of the cabin falls while the aircraft is at high altitude, and this is the same point that africacheck.org, a website that sorts fact from fiction, established.
As quoted in their report, Darren Olivier, a military analyst and the editor of the African Defence Review, said oxygen masks drop for planes flying at high altitudes such as 30,000 or 40,000 feet.
Why? Because the air outside the plane is simply too thin to support consciousness. Therefore, “10,000 [feet]”, he said, “is an altitude where passengers can breathe normally even if the oxygen runs out”.
The second reason, which is equally important observation, is that the video shows a plane having two aisles. And if netizens will scrutinize the features of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, it only has one aisle.
Sure, the tragic accident that killed 157 people onboard is heartbreaking, but it does not help especially for the bereaved families of the victims to share unfounded news and fake videos of the crash.
The Filipino Times decided not to post the video to put a halt on its spread online.