Video of fire in a church in France falsely linked to clashes in Manipur

By: Rajini KG
July 18 2023

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Video of fire in a church in France falsely linked to clashes in Manipur


The Verdict False

The video was taken when Notre-Dame de l’Assomption, a church in Drosnay, France, was on fire. It has no connection to Manipur.

Claim ID 9e9b38ca


Since ethnic clashes erupted in the Indian state of Manipur in early May, around 140 people have died, and many places of worship, shops, and other buildings have been destroyed. Against this backdrop, a video showing a church on fire is being shared online with the claim that it shows an incident from Manipur. The video, which appears to be captured from a moving vehicle, has also been used by some social media users to criticize the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or hold the party responsible for violence in the northeastern state.

Twitter user Deepesh Gupta (@AndbhaktJ) shared the video with the caption, "#Manipur Sugnu Imphal Violence is not stopping, arson pro-BJP extremists more than 300 years old St. Joseph's Church burnt since 73 days, Manipur is burning and Prime Minister Modi is roaming abroad, I have never seen such a shameless Prime Minister #ManipurViolence #ModiDisasterForIndia." The video had 2,450 likes and 1,745 retweets at the time of publishing. The archive of the post can be found here and here.

However, the video is not from Manipur.

In Fact

Through a reverse image search, we found that the video is from Drosnay, a town in northeastern France. YouTube channel ‘HR 24X7 (HR24x7)’ had posted the same video on July 8 with the caption: "16th century Catholic Church. The steeple of Eglise Notre Dame Drosnay has been burnt to the ground." The same video was also posted by another YouTube channel ‘Z Tilice (@ztilice8672)’ on July 7 with the caption: "Arson: The church of Drosnay totally destroyed after a fire." According to the video description, on July 7, a fire had damaged the historic Notre Dame de l'Assomption church in Drosnay. 

Many local news websites had also reported on the incident. Franceinfo, a radio network in France, cited the video in question and images of the incident in its report. The report said firefighters put out the blaze that destroyed the historic timber-framed church.

France Bleu, a network of local and regional radio stations in France, reported about the incident and published a video of the aftermath of the fire. According to the report, the cause of the fire was unknown. 

On July 7, the Ministry of Culture in France had issued a press release stating 11 trucks and 41 firefighters were sent to extinguish the fire that broke out at the church, which had been designated a historical monument in 1982. While the blaze spread across an area of 1,000, no one was killed in the incident. A local court has launched an investigation to determine the fire's origin.

The Verdict

The claim is false as the video is from France and not Manipur.

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