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Officials: Video of man on fire did not happen in UAE

Dubai authorities warn residents against spreading false news

  • The 58-second video clip shows the man’s T-shirt and jeans going up in flames while visitors and mall securityImage Credit: Supplied
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Gulf News

Dubai: Don’t believe everything you see on the internet, Dubai Police have said.

Police are once again reminding internet users to be careful about sharing videos without knowing their source.

The warning came after a video circulated online showing a man caught on fire in a shopping mall with a subtitle that the shocking incident took place at The Dubai Mall.

The 58-second video clip shows the man’s T-shirt and jeans going up in flames while visitors and mall security personnel were frantically searching for a fire extinguisher to douse the flames. Major-General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs of Dubai Police, said the video wasn’t in any shopping mall in Dubai.

“The video wasn’t in The Dubai Mall or in any mall in the emirate. There is a police post in the mall and the officers didn’t receive any alert about such an incident,” he said.

Maj-Gen Al Mansouri warned people against circulating fake news or videos on the internet as it is punishable under the law.

“We encourage residents not to circulate unverified information on social media. Anyone found guilty of spreading rumours and fake news can be jailed for up to three years and a fine of Dh250,000. Residents should always verify the news first before re-sending it to friends and spreading them on social media,” Maj-Gen Al Mansouri said.

However, he said that people use the Dubai name in such videos or pictures so the material goes viral given Dubai’s international reputation.

“Usually some people who want to gain more followers or to be famous online know if they put Dubai’s name in any video or picture, then it will go viral.”

Meanwhile, on its social media accounts, Dubai Civil Defence also confirmed that the incident did not take place anywhere in Dubai or any other places in the UAE.

Major-General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, director-general of Dubai Civil Defence, said that no incident of this kind was reported during the month of Ramadan.

“According to our records, there were no accidents of a man caught on fire at any shopping centre or commercial complex. Nothing of this sort happened in Dubai during Ramadan, or anywhere else in the UAE,” said Maj-Gen Al Matroushi.

According to online news sites, the accident happened in the city of Agadir in Morocco on June 3.

While some reports state that the fire was caused by a faulty mobile phone that exploded in the victim’s pocket, some Moroccan newspapers on Sunday reported that the man set himself on fire after being caught stealing a pair of shoes from a shop — but this could not be independently verified.

“A 30-year-old man set himself on fire at the main entrance of the supermarket Marjane, on June 3. After local authorities arrived, the man was transported to Hassan II Hospital in Agadir with second- and third-degree burns,” reported Agadir24.info.

Youth Media Council

In March, the National Media Council (NMC) announced the formation of the ‘Youth Media Council’ (YMC) and nominated 12 young people from among Emiratis and expatriates to play an integral role in supporting the (NMC) strategy of developing the UAE’s media sector and work towards verifying credible news from fake on different media platforms.

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