Editor’s note: The video referenced in this story contains graphic content.
A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Morocco on Friday, Sept. 8, leaving more than 2,800 people dead. In remote villages of Morocco, like Tafeghaghte, more than half of the inhabitants are thought to have died.
Law enforcement and aid workers – both Moroccan and international – arrived in the region south of the city of Marrakech, which was hit the hardest by the earthquake. Residents were awaiting food, water and electricity, and giant boulders blocked steep mountain roads.
One shocking video appearing to be from rescue operations in Morocco has gone viral. In the video, a newborn baby was pulled from rubble.
“Here, a new born baby is dug out of the debris after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake devastates Morocco. Pray for this child,” a tweet with more than 280,000 views says.
Was the video of a newborn rescued from rubble taken in Morocco after the earthquake?
No, the viral video of a newborn rescued from rubble was not taken in Morocco after the earthquake.
WHAT WE FOUND
In the 12-second video, a man with dark hair, a white tank top, jeans and blue tennis shoes can be seen pulling a newborn baby from the ground. But the video was not taken in Morocco as the viral posts claim – it was actually taken in Northern India.
VERIFY conducted a reverse image search of keyframes in the video and found several instances of the same video posted to Facebook on the morning of Sept. 9. An Indian news outlet posted a “BREAKING NEWS” alert the morning of Sept. 9 with the video clip of the same rescue. Both of those video captions said the newborn was found on a farm in the Purandar village of Kanpur Dehat, Uttar Pradesh, in Northern India.
It’s not clear precisely what time the rescue happened, but both of those videos were posted on the morning of Sept. 9.
When searching for additional information about the newborn being rescued, VERIFY found another video from the same rescue. This video, which was also posted the morning of Sept. 9, shows the same man in the same outfit wrapping the newborn in a yellow blanket. It was posted to X by journalist Praveen Mohta, who is a special correspondent with The Navbharat Times, a Hindi newspaper based out of Mumbai and distributed in Kanpur.
“Rajesh and his wife Reshma, from Pulandar village in Kanpur Dehat district, heard a child crying from the field. When searched, a newborn child who was buried alive in the field was found crying. The child was admitted to the hospital. stable condition,” the post says (translated via Google Translate).
Because of the numerous voices in the video, VERIFY was unable to accurately translate what was being said in the video posted by Mohta. VERIFY reached out to Mohta for additional information but did not hear back at the time of publication.
After the videos of the rescue went viral, on Sept. 9, a spokesperson with the Kanpur Dehat Police posted a statement to X.
The officer in the video was speaking Hindi. In order to translate the video, VERIFY uploaded the video to transcription tool Trint and was able to receive a transcription in Hindi. VERIFY then used Google Translate to translate the text from Hindi into English.
The police officer confirmed what was being shared across social media. He said a sharecropper and his wife heard the sounds of crying in a nearby field and ran to help. The couple found the premature baby in the field and called the police. The child was admitted to a local hospital, where it was treated and is healthy, the officer said.
VERIFY also found additional footage and news reports from the rescue.
AB News India, which covers the Kanpur region of Uttar Pradesh, posted this video to Facebook on Sept. 10. In that video, a baby is being wrapped in the same yellow cloth.
The Times of India also posted an update on Sept. 10 about the newborn being found, saying the baby was rushed to a nearby hospital.
On Sept. 10, The Navbharat Times published photos of the baby. In the photos, the child is seen being held by local law enforcement. The officers' uniforms in the photo match the uniform of the spokesperson who issued the statement on X.
According to that article, the baby was healthy but would be in the care of child protective services. The couple who found the baby considered it a blessing and hoped to adopt the child as their own, the article said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.