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Man dies by suicide in UK instead of being deported back to Nigeria? No, 2018 video of intoxicated passenger at US airport

IN SHORT: The video is being shared with a plea to pray for Nigeria. But it was filmed in the US in 2018, and doesn’t show a man in a UK airport who chose suicide over being deported back to Nigeria.

Warning: This report fact-checks a distressing video.

A video circulating on social media since late July 2023 has been shared with the claim it shows a man who died by suicide in a UK airport because he was about to be deported back to Nigeria.

The video begins with people shouting on an upper floor balcony inside a large building. 

A man then grabs the balcony’s railing and launches himself over it, falling to the lower floor. He hits his head on the wall on the way down. People are heard screaming. Before the video cuts off, we see the man lying motionless as others rush to his aid.

“A man committed suicide inside Heathrow airport insted of being deported back to Nigeria, that's how bad and dejected the system has become,” a typical caption to the clip reads.

Heathrow airport is in London, the capital of the United Kingdom.

The caption continues: “If there's anytime to pray for our dear country it is now. Judiciary must save us from total collapse!”

The final sentence may be a reference to the ongoing legal challenges to Nigeria’s February 2023 election won by president Bola Tinubu.

The video and its claim can also be seen on Facebook here and here, on Twitter here, here and here, and on blogs. (Twitter was rebranded as X in July 2023.)

But does the video really show a man who chose to die in the UK rather than be deported back to Nigeria?


‘Drunken jump’ after argument in Atlanta airport

Africa Check took a screengrab of the first frame of the video and ran it through a Google reverse image search.

One of the results was a thread on the discussion forum Reddit, which shows the video. A comment in the thread links to an article on the US-based news website 11 Alive.

“Man charged after drunken jump from upper floor at Hartsfield-Jackson,” the headline reads. The article is dated 1 March 2018 – more than five years before the video started circulating again.

Hartsfield-Jackson is an international airport in Atlanta, the capital of the US state of Georgia.

The article shows the same video. It reports that the man had been taken to hospital with serious injuries, but had survived.

The incident reportedly started when the man, “visibly irate and belligerent” and seemingly drunk, began threatening other passengers outside a pub on the upper floor. He then jumped over the railing.

He was later charged with disorderly conduct and intoxication.

The video, and a report on the incident, can also be seen in a March 2018 report on the Fox News website. It has also been uploaded on the Fox News YouTube channel.

The video shows an incident in the US in 2018. The man survived. It does not show a man in a UK airport in 2023 about to be deported back to Nigeria.

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