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Video of Fire at Swiss Train Station Peddled With False Anti-migrant Claim

A spokesperson for the Swiss Federal Railways told BOOM that the focus on the investigation is on a ‘technical defect’ and that there is no evidence of a third party involvement in the fire at Zurich Altstetten station.

A video showing a part of a train engulfed in flames at Zurich Altstetten station, Switzerland, is being shared with a false and communal claim that a train was set on fire by Muslim migrants.

BOOM reached out to Swiss Federal Railways spokesperson who said that the cause of the fire is still being investigated but that the focus is on ‘a technical defect’ and there is no evidence of third-party involvement in the fire.

Seven people were detained, most of them teenagers, after several shop windows in the Swiss city of Lausanne were smashed as young people gathered in an “echo” of riots in neighbouring France according to the Swiss police reported AP on July 2, 2023. The police detained six people ages 15 to 17 — three girls and three boys, with Portuguese, Somali, Bosnian, Swiss, Georgian and Serbian citizenship — and a 24-year-old Swiss national the report further added.

Widespread riots broke out in France last week after a 17-year-old boy of Algerian heritage was shot dead by a police officer at a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on June 27, 2023.

The video is being shared with the caption, “#BreakingNews: Muslim riots spill over to Switzerland. Train set on fire in Zurich. #Muslimriots #FranceHasFallen” The same video is also being shared on Twitter with the same false claim.

Twitter user (@UltraDane) tweeted it with the caption, “Muslim riots spill over to Switzerland. Train set on fire in Zurich. #Muslimriots #FranceHasFallen” The Twitter handle (@DolnewsTV) tweeted the video with the caption, “#BREAKING: Migrant Riots in France, Spreading: Switzerland & Germany now! The ferocious migrant riots taking place for more than five days inside France, have begun to spread.

In Zurich, Switzerland, a passenger train locomotive was set on fire (Video below)”


In the viral video, we spotted the train station name – Altstetten seen on a board.

Taking a hint from that we ran keyword searches and found that the train station in the video is from Zurich Altstetten station, Switzerland where a locomotive had caught fire on July 6, 2023. We found several news reports on the fire in a locomotive in Zurich-Altstetten that had disrupted rail traffic that day.

We found a tweet by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) on the same incident at Zurich Altstetten station on July 6, 2023. The tweet from SBB Medienstelle when translated to English reads, “Rail traffic in Zurich Altstetten interrupted due to fire. For reasons that are still unclear, the locomotive of an S14 caught fire shortly before 5 p.m. The duration of the disruption is unclear. Information on rail transport:”

We also did not find any credible news report which had reported that the train had been set fire by Muslim migrants as claimed in the viral posts. “The focus is on a technical defect, there is no evidence of third party involvement”: Swiss Federal Railways spokesperson BOOM then reached out to SBB Medienstelle via email on the fire at Zurich-Altstetten station. “The cause of the fire is being investigated. The focus is on a technical defect. There is no evidence of third-party involvement,” Swiss Federal Railways spokesperson Reto Schärli told BOOM.

Source: Boom Live



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