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Another #DurbanStorm hoax: Image of car sideways in sinkhole from Ukraine

An image showing a car that has fallen sideways into a large sinkhole has been shared widely on South African social media. It supposedly showed the havoc wreaked on the country’s coastal city of Durban by a recent storm.


An initial Google search revealed that this image is part of a larger set of memes people use to joke about someone experiencing the “worst day ever”.

Like the video of a minibus taxi being swept away, this image is definitely not from the Durban storm. But where was it originally taken?

Licence plate matches Ukraine’s flag colours

Africa Check used the image search service TinEye for a more thorough reverse image search and found a version of the image from a different angle where the car’s license plate is visible. In this image, one can see that there is a blue and yellow flag on the left hand side of the license plate. This matches Ukraine’s flag colours.

Once we identified the location the photo was snapped in, it was only a matter of a few more Google searches to find the story behind the image.

Turns out, a Ukrainian man was driving home in his 4x4 car in the city of Dnipro in south-eastern Ukraine on 1 October 2014, when the ground disappeared beneath him. Fortunately, the driver was able to climb out of the car unharmed.

At least 7 other people in KwaZulu-Natal so far weren’t as lucky.


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