Edited image shared as inauguration of Delhi airport terminal where roof collapsed

By: Ankita Kulkarni
July 5 2024

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Edited image shared as inauguration of Delhi airport terminal where roof collapsed

A screenshot of viral post claiming that the image shows Delhi Airport’s Terminal 1, which was inaugurated by former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

Fact-Check

The Verdict Fake

The original image shows the inauguration event of Delhi Airport Terminal 3 in 2010, not Terminal 1, where the roof recently collapsed due to rains.

Claim ID baf03f91

What is the claim? 

An image of former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Congress President Sonia Gandhi, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, and former Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel posing together at an inaugural ceremony is circulating on social media platforms. Users claim the image shows the 2010 inauguration of the airport terminal that recently suffered major damage following heavy rains.

The image shows a black stone plaque inscribed with the text, "Indira Gandhi International Airport. Terminal. Inaugurated by.” Sonia Gandhi’s name is also visible above the date of July 3, 2010.

Multiple posts sharing the image claim it depicts the inauguration of Delhi Airport’s Terminal 1, where a recent canopy collapse on June 28 killed one and injured eight others, and "people are blaming Modi.”

One such post captioned the viral image stating, "Delhi airport was inaugurated on 3rd July 2010 at 12:36 PM by Sonia Gandhi, Sheila Dixit and Manmohan Singh. Now that a part of the building has collapsed, they are blaming Modi... be thankful that GMR built it and not Adani, otherwise many would have been crying foul today.” The archived version of this post and similar others can be found here and here

The image is also being shared on Facebook with similar claims, and the archived links to those can be viewed here, here, and here

Screenshots of viral posts circulating on social media. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts) 

However, we found that the viral image has been digitally manipulated. 

How did we find it?

A reverse image search of the viral picture led us to a report published in The Hindu on July 3, 2010, a screenshot of which has now been shared online. The headline read, “World-class terminal opened at IGI Airport.” The report included the now-viral image, but the text on the black plaque reads “Terminal 3,” not just “Terminal.” The report stated that Manmohan Singh inaugurated Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. 

We found the original, unedited version of the now-viral image, and multiple other images from the inaugural ceremony uploaded on Manmohan Singh’s official website, as well as a report by The Times of India from July 3, 2010. In these images, it is clear that it shows the opening of Delhi Airport’s Terminal 3 and not 1.

Comparison between the viral image and the 2010 image. (Source: X/The Hindu/Screenshot)

Several other media organizations, such as BBC News Hindi, Hindustan Times, and NDTV also reported on the inauguration, establishing that it was Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport.

The evidence above shows that the photograph was taken at the inauguration of Terminal 3 of the airport, whereas the roof collapse occurred at Terminal 1. 

According to an Indian Express report, Terminal 1D, now Terminal 1, of the Delhi airport was inaugurated on February 27, 2009, and opened to the public in April 2009. 

The Delhi airport roof collapse

Following heavy rains on June 28, a portion of the roof at Delhi Airport’s Terminal 1 fell on parked cars, killing one driver who was seated inside. Eight others were reportedly injured, and operations were suspended at the airport. The incident drew heavy criticism, and many claimed that the airport was recently inaugurated after a renovation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, Civil Aviation Minister Ram Mohan Naidu Kinjarapuhad later told the media, “I want to clarify that the building inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on the other side, and the building that collapsed here is an old building and was opened in 2009." This also indicates that the now-viral image does not show the inauguration of the airport terminal where the roof collapsed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated an extension of Terminal 1 at Delhi Airport on March 10, 2024. The extension was undertaken by GMR Airports Infrastructure Ltd in 2019.    

The verdict

The viral image shows the 2010 inauguration of Delhi Airport’s Terminal 3 by former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi. It is now falsely being shared as the inaugural ceremony of Terminal 1, where a portion of the roof recently collapsed due to heavy rains.

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