A video purportedly showing a man on top of a transmission tower and being electrocuted is doing rounds on social media. While giving this video a communal spin, people on social media claimed that a Muslim man climbed up the high voltage transmission tower to offer namaz, believing that the height would take him closer to Allah, and later fell from there after being electrocuted.
A Twitter user shared this video and wrote, "This offering of namaz anywhere, is going to crazy lengths. He climbed up to read Namaz on the Transmission Tower. To be close to Allah’. His wish was fulfilled. Found his Hoors, though a bit crispy tandoori. Don't know the location though. WA forward."
Twitter blue user shared this video and wrote, "After efficiently reciting Nawaz on bus, train, plane, road etc., this Maulana used to climb on the pole to offer namaz, because of the height he thought he could be closer to the almighty…so almighty directly called him above… to show heaven. Pray wisdom prevails. Prayers are divine."
Viral video shows a Muslim man being electrocuted after trying to offer namaz on top of an electric transmission tower.
The Logical Indian fact-check team verified the claim and found it false. The video is old and belongs to Barranquilla in Colombia, where a young man lost his life after getting electrocuted while trying to get off a high-voltage tower.
We began our investigation by breaking down the viral video into different keyframes using the InVid tool leading to a report by Meta Tube published on 17 May 2018. It carried the same visuals as the viral video and identified the person as a 20-year-old boy who was deaf and mute. According to the report, the locals told the authorities that the boy had a history of climbing high altitudes and threatening to throw himself from there when he felt depressed.
Taking a clue from here, we searched for other media reports which covered the incident in 2018. We found an article by Metro UK published on 16 May 2018. The article titled, "Deaf man who changed mind about killing himself dies after accidentally touching live wire," identified the boy as Victor Jose Arroyo Gonzalez, who climbed the tower to die by suicide. However, after listening to the police and bystanders, he changed his mind and began climbing down when he accidentally got in contact with a live wire and suffered electrocution.
Other media portals, such as the Spanish language's Telemundo, Emisora Altlantico, and News.com.au, also covered the story. They noted that Gonzalez was diagnosed with depression and had previously climbed tall structures to threaten suicide.
Further, India Today spoke to Osvaldo Castilla Rojas, the Colombian journalist who had reported the incident in 2018. She rubbished the viral claim that the boy climbed the huge pylon to offer namaz. She also mentioned that the boy had mental health issues and had climbed the same tower earlier with the intention of suicide.
To sum up, the viral claim that a man climbed the high-voltage tower to offer namaz is false. The video is old, shot in 2018, and shows a man who belonged to Barranquilla in Colombia. The 20-year-old Victor Jose Arroyo Gonzalez climbed the tower to throw himself from there, but the police and bystanders talked him out, following which he was climbing down and met with the accident.
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