Tema-Mpakadan train crash: Footage of accident edited, picture not photoshopped

News emerged on April 18, 2024, that the government’s recently procured Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) train has been involved in an accident on the Tema-Mpakadan railway line.

Following the incident, the Ministry of Railways and Development released a statement indicating that the train crashed into a truck packed on the railways while they were conducting a test run. A statement by the Police also revealed that it had arrested the driver of the truck, a Hyundai car with registration number GS 9018-20.

The Minister of Railways and Development, John-Peter Amewu, further published on his official Facebook page a photo of the supposed truck the train crashed. A day after, on Friday, April 19, Mr Amewu released a short dashcam footage of how the train crashed into the truck on the Tema-Mpakadan railway line.

The driver of the truck involved in the accident has been sentenced to six months in prison.

Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claims surrounding the accident and presents the facts below.

Picture of truck photoshopped – Railway Minister John-Peter Amewu

On Thursday, April 18, when the news of the accident was reported, the Railways and Development Minister, John-Peter Amewu, shared a picture of the truck that was involved in the accident with the DMU train on his Facebook page. However, when some social media handles started raising concerns about the accuracy of the photo, the minister deleted it from his page on the morning of Friday, April 18.

Hours later, when the minister was asked about the photo in an interview with Accra-based Joy Fm, he said the photo he saw on social media was not original.

“I haven’t even seen the picture myself. Maybe I have to get to my Facebook page. Somebody manages that Facebook page. But the picture I saw on social media was a photoshop of the vehicle they put across the line, but you can see that’s not even the point,” Mr Amewu said.

Is the picture photoshopped?

However, when Fact-Check Ghana ran its own checks on the photo including verifying it with Invid Fake Debunker software, there was no traceable evidence proving that the picture was photoshopped or edited.

Visual results from CMFD cloning test on Invid Fake Debunker
CAGI compression text did not show significant compression

For instance, tests for cloning to see whether parts of the photo have been copied or moved to create a different outlook proved negative. Compression tests to detect anomalies in previous processes of creation and compression of the image were also not positive. Deep learning tests (spotting artificial intelligence methods to detect modifications of the images with a system that has been trained with a big number of examples of fake images) were also nil.

Deep learning tests (Mantra-Net is a deep learning approach for forgery manipulation detection) were also nil

Other checks in reverse image search platforms and location-based software did not provide any results that show that the photo has been edited or culled from somewhere or has been republished on the Facebook page of the minister.

For instance, when the photo was run through Geospy.AI, an AI geolocation platform by Boston-based Graylark.io, the platform did not find the accurate location where the photo was taken but provided the explanation below:

“The image was taken from the driver’s perspective of a vehicle driving on a road that is parallel to a railroad track. The truck on the railroad tracks appears to have been involved in an accident. The vegetation along the roadside is dense and there are no visible buildings or other structures in the immediate vicinity.”

Video is edited

When Fact-Check Ghana conducted a visual examination of the 30-second footage released by the minister on how the DMU train crashed into the truck, the team realized a portion of the video had been edited.

Beyond adding Uncle Ato’s Oman be ye yie song to the footage, Fact-Check Ghana observed that there’s an inconsistency in the movement of the vegetation on the sides of the moving train. At some point, some of the trees and shrubs on the side vanish without the moving train passing them.

Screengrab of the point in the video when the timer jumps

Specifically, between 0:6 and 0:7 seconds of the video, a tree on the right side of the railway track approaching the train vanishes. The inconsistency is further underscored by the running timer at the top left corner of the video. The timer jumps from 12:09:22 to 12:10:41. The jumpcut in the footage affirms that the video has been edited.

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