Fact checks about countries

FACT CHECK: Colombia did not experience a ‘zombie virus’ outbreak

FACT CHECK: Colombia did not experience a ‘zombie virus’ outbreak
Footage of zombies terrorizing light rail passengers is from an Indonesian ‘zombie’ train event inspired by the hit 2016 Korean horror film, Train to Busan

Claim: Footage of zombies terrorizing train passengers implied that Colombia experienced a zombie virus outbreak that “could be worse than COVID-19.”

The rest of the Facebook video bearing the claim showed spliced footage of people running away or congregating in highways, streets, and parking lots for unspecified reasons. Parts of the video are also captioned using letters from the Arabic alphabet.

The Facebook video spreading the claim is captioned: “Mas malala pa ata ito kesa sa COVID 😭 Kung nagkataon huwag naman sana #trend #trendingnow #trendingvideo” (This is worse than COVID. If ever, hopefully not #trend #trendingnow #trendingvideo”)

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The video has garnered more than 339,000 views and 706 comments as of writing. The account that posted the video does not allow public access to the number of reactions.

The zombie train footage is from an Indonesian promotional event: In August 2022, events company Pandora’s Box (in partnership with Jakarta’s light rail transit agency) launched “Train to Apocalypse,” which was inspired by the Korean horror film Train to Busan.

“Train to Apocalypse” offered a haunted-house experience for passengers in Jakarta’s light rail transit. The event ran from August 5 to September 11, 2022.

The same footage was also used to justify an alleged zombie outbreak in China: An earlier version of the false claim indicated that the zombie virus outbreak occurred in China instead of Colombia. 

Clips bearing the claim have circulated widely on Facebook and TikTok. – Enzo De Borja/Rappler.com

Enzo De Borja is a 4th-year Political Science Major at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, volunteering under Rappler’s Research unit.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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