MANHATTAN – If you were one of the more than 89-thousand New Yorkers who received a Citizen App Sunday night around 7:30 pm reporting twelve people had been struck in a thirty car pile up on Second Avenue near 60th Street on the Upper East Side— you were likely alarmed and disturbed by what you were reading. Fortunately, that ‘verified’ Citizen App report is 100% false.
The first alert from Citizen App came at 7:13 pm stating “firefighters and EMS units have received an unconfirmed report of appoximately [sic] 12 people who have been struck by a 30 car pile-up.”
Typically, Citizen App posts a recording of radio communications between dispatchers and first responders— in this case, it did not.
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Eight minutes later at 7:21 pm Citizen ‘verified’ the story when a user by the screenname ‘realdealmcbeal’ streamed live video from an apartment building across the street from the Subway Inn— at the corner of Second Avenue and East 60th Street— showing just two firetrucks in front.
Citizen App then promoted the live stream nearly 90-thousand users — despite the video stream showing no evidence of a pileup or injured pedestrians– or even any ambulances scene.
Upper East Site immediately started working to confirm the details Citizen App was publishing for thousands to view— and we couldn’t.
At the intersection itself, Upper East Site found no sign of a mass casualty incident, pileup or even a minor fender bender.
It turns out that less than a minute after the live stream began, the user—‘realdealmcbeal’— posted in the Citizen App chat that EMS had already left.
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At 7:25, Upper East Side reached out to FDNY officials for details on what was happening at the intersection— a little over an hour later they confirmed what we already knew— “Incident unfounded.”
Upper East Site reached out to Citizen App to find out how their ‘verified’ report could be so wrong, we’re waiting to hear back.
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