26 September 2023
Fact checkMisleading

Misleading: Video shows man falling to death in Germany, not ‘angry husband’ in China

The German man who fell from a building was a suspect in a hostage situation in Dresden; he was attempting to flee from the police.

A video showing a man fatally falling from an apartment building went viral last month after Chinese social media posts claimed that he was climbing through balconies to catch his cheating wife in Hangzhou, China.

The nine-second video posted on Twitter on July 13 was seemingly taken by a bystander from a nearby building. It shows the man was climbing from one balcony to another by hanging on to a railing before falling to his death from the 13th floor.

Some users even said the “unfaithful wife” was close to a window near the balcony, implying that she might have seen the supposed husband falling.

The video was shared on Twitter (here, here and here), Bilibili and Baidu Tieba with over 600 likes.

However, the claim is misleading. It has nothing to do with any extramarital affairs in Hangzhou. The video was taken in Germany.

The man who fell from the balcony was a suspect accused of holding a woman hostage in Germany last month, who died trying to escape police arrest.

Reverse image search led us to a tweet that indicated the incident happened in Dresden in June.

The Twitter user also posted a screenshot of a German news report about the incident.

A German media outlet, BILD, reported the news on June 16 with a photo showing the man hanging on to a railing. We compared the building features in the photo with the one in the viral video and they matched.

The building features in BILD’s report matched those seen in the Chinese posts. The German news photo also gave clues that the man fell after climbing down at least four floors.

The fatal fall took place on a street called “Michelangelostraße” in Zschernitz district, according to the news report.

To make sure, we identified the building through the globe view of the street on Google Maps.

A photo from the BILD (middle) and a Google Map screenshot (right) shows the same building seen in the video.

According to a German police statement, a 33-year-old Tunisian man allegedly held a woman hostage with a knife on the morning of June 16.

The man tried to climb down the building from the balcony after the police’s arrival and fell about 30 meters. He was found dead at the scene.

A longer version of the video was uploaded to Twitter one day after the incident.

A shorter version of the clip was also posted with another misleading claim in Turkish on June 20 (here and here), saying that the man was a cheating lover on escape.