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No, video does not show helicopter crash that killed Nigerian bank exec

IN SHORT: Access Bank CEO Herbert Wigwe died in a helicopter crash in the US. But this video circulating on social media does not show the crash site.

On 10 February 2024, Herbert Wigwe, the chief executive officer of Access Bank, was reported to have died in a helicopter crash in the US state of California.

He was said to have died with five other people, including his wife and eldest son.

On 11 February, Access Bank confirmed the death of its CEO on X (formerly Twitter), which led to some media coverage of the news. Several media reports suggested that bad weather, including rain and snow showers, was the cause of the crash. 

In this context, some social media posts have shared a video of what they claim to be the crash site.

A video posted on X, which has been viewed more than 341,000 times, shows what appears to be a plane on fire. Its caption reads, in part: “CEO of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe and 4 others. The chopper crashed onto Interstate 75 ...”


Similar posts with the same video can be found on Facebook here, here, here, here, here and here, and on Instagram here.

But is this a video of the helicopter crash that killed the CEO of Access Bank? We checked.

Video from different crash

Africa Check used the video verification tool, Invid, to break the video into frames.

We found a post on YouTube dated 11 February 2024 by ABC News. The video’s caption reads: “New details about deadly plane crash on Florida interstate.”

From there, we entered keywords from the caption into Google and found several reports about the “deadly plane crash”. According to these reports, two people were killed when a small plane lost both engines and crashed into a vehicle on a Florida highway as the pilot attempted to make an emergency landing.

Wigwe died in California, but the video is from a crash in the US state of Florida. 

The US National Transportation Safety Board has released images of the helicopter crash that killed Wigwe. The location in these images is different from the one in the video circulating on social media.


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