The viral TikTok video claiming to show the Nagdhunga tunnel of Nepal
KATHMANDU: A video claiming that it shows the Nagdhunga tunnel in Nepal has recently gained viral traction on TikTok.
The footage, captured from a moving vehicle, provides a glimpse of this tunnel. Posted on August 3, 2023, by the TikTok user @gauleketo9898, the 30-second clip has since garnered over 2 million views and received more than 68 thousand likes.
The video is accompanied by a traditional Nepali folk song. The TikTok account belongs to Hari Godar Thapa Chhetri, who hails from Bharatpur in the Chitwan district of southern Nepal, as indicated in his bio. He consistently uses the hashtag #harigodar9898 in most of his TikTok posts.
Upon closer examination of his TikTok content, it becomes apparent that Hari Godar Thapa Chhetri may be a Nepali migrant worker based in Saudi Arabia. He seems to work as a driver, capturing scenes from his road trips and sharing them on TikTok.
In an effort to confirm the location of the tunnel, Nepal Check thoroughly analyzed the video. In the initial seconds, the video shows a white car entering the tunnel, and a blue sign at the entrance bears Arabic text.
Utilizing Google Translate, we attempted to translate the text, but this alone did not provide sufficient information to pinpoint the tunnel’s location.
Nepal Check conducted searches on both Google and YouTube, drawing insights from comments on the TikTok post. Some commenters suggested that the tunnel could be part of the Al Baha road in Saudi Arabia.
During our investigation, we stumbled upon a YouTube channel operated by Mike Viado, who posted a video titled Al Baha’s Twenty Five Tunnels approximately 9 years ago.
Around the 5-minute and 48-second mark of the video, a tunnel closely resembling the one in the viral TikTok video is featured.
Additionally, the YouTube video provides a view from the other side of the tunnel after 30 seconds. Dangerous Roads has also published a report on the tunnel.
By conducting a comparative analysis of the tunnel scene in the viral TikTok video and the one in the YouTube video, we have verified that the claim suggesting the video shows the Nagdhunga tunnel under construction in Nepal is misleading.
In reality, it depicts a tunnel located in the Al Baha road section in Saudi Arabia.