On 21 Jan 2021, a person named Bruck Aynalem posted on a Facebook group called የጨዋዎች ግሩፕ (yechewawoch group), (a Facebook public group with more than 142,000 members) saying that there’s been a car accident in Amhara region and 39 people died. The post which was written in Amharic reads “…A bus carrying 65 people going from Addis Ababa to Bahir Dar overturned, killing 39 people. The accident took place at 5:35 today(21 Jan 2021) in the Amhara region; Dejen district; the bus entered a 50-meter-deep cliff near Balbele Kebele. The deceased’s identities are unknown and their bodies are at Dejen Referral Hospital…”. The post has also been circulating in different other Facebook groups and shared by many people. HaqCheck has interrogated the post and rated it False due to the inaccuracy of the image and the facts used in the post.

Granted, Ethiopia is one of the countries in the world with high rates of car accidents. During the last fiscal year (2019/20), 4,133 people died because of traffic accidents across the country. Traffic accidents are a serious problem in the country in general and this also true in the Amhara Regional State. 

However, Addis Zeybe has contacted the Amhara region road and transport bureau, public relation expert, and confirmed that there has been no car accident on 21 January 2021 in Dejen Woreda that killed 39 people. “The Facebook post is very far from true,” the Public relations expert said.  As stated on Facebook post the deceased’s bodies are in Dejen referral hospital, which was confirmed by Addis Zeybe that the woreda has no referral hospital and the nearest referral hospital is found in Debre Markos which is 61.5 km far from Dejen.

Also, a reverse image search of the picture posted to support the claim shows that the picture was taken on 17 March 2019 during the funeral of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 crash victims, the plane crashed shortly after taking off heading to Nairobi, Kenya, killing all 157 people on board on 10 March 2019. The picture is found with other photos from the funeral. 

In conclusion, HaqCheck has interrogated the post and confirmed that the Facebook post claiming that there’s been a car accident in Amhara region, Dejen woreda, killing 39 people and the deceased’s bodies are found in Dejen referral hospital is False due to the usage of inaccurate information. 

Fact Checked by: Rehobot Ayalew

Edited by: Bruck Negash Teame

The following article is part of HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking running in five languages (Affan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya and English)

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