False: Video depicting bus passengers screaming in terror is manipulated
A video circulating widely on social media depicts passengers on a bus screaming in terror as the driver swerves down a mountain road at high speed. They are shouting in Cantonese to the driver to stop.
A version of the video titled “Der Bus zur Hölle” (The Bus to Hell) was posted on Facebook on June 23. It gathered close to 200,000 views and more than 1,500 comments in four days.
The same video was posted on YouTube on April 3 by another user, gaining at least 27,000 views. This video has been manipulated. The audio track of panic-struck passenger voices was taken from a different clip and added to this one.
The original sound is found in another widely circulated video from Hong Kong recorded on April 1. The video is less dramatic visually but features the voices of people shouting in Cantonese as a minibus driver swerves across several lanes of the Yuen Long Highway.
The two-minute-long clip ends with the bus crashing into the barrier on the side of a flyover.
This incident made headlines in Hong Kong. Cable News, HK01, RTHK and other media reported the minibus was traveling on route 44A between Tuen Mun and Sheung Shui. Police arrested the driver for dangerous driving.
The new video being circulated has taken the audio track from the Hong Kong video and added it to an unrelated clip from Japan titled “Japanese bus driver’s technique.”
The Japanese video shows a bus driver navigating narrow and bendy mountain roads skillfully. There are several copies of it on YouTube, including a version with increased playback speed, music and tire-screeching sound effects.
The objects seen outside of the bus in the Japanese video, such as street signs and construction work, are identical to the widely circulated video with the Cantonese shouting. The layout of the dashboard and the signage are also the same.
The Japanese video was filmed in Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture, according to the description in the post on YouTube.
Google Maps and Google Street View confirm that the video was indeed taken on National Route 120 in Japan, just outside of the city of Nikko.
Since the image shows the signage on the bus in Japanese while the language spoken is Cantonese, this mashup video seems to be targeting people who don’t speak either language.
It ends with an edited version of show credits that appear to be from the U.S. television show Curb Your Enthusiasm, commonly used in video memes online.