Bay of Plenty residents are being reminded about the potentially misleading nature of information available on social media, after a rumour triggered widespread panic online earlier this week.
SunLive received a number of messages from concerned social media users on Monday evening, alleging an LPG tanker had exploded in Mount Maunganui.
The comments claimed the tanker had killed three people and injured 15.
A police media spokesperson confirmed at the time of the alleged incident that the online reports were false.
The incident has now triggered a reminder from police for users of social media to tread with caution.
“Social media and online news is great for getting news and information out to people very quickly however the down side is that people can post false information like this case,” says Mount Maunganui Constable Kurt Waugh.
“If a serious incident has occurred that the public need to know about then police will generally release a statement very quickly to avoid false information being spread which could cause alarm to the public.
“In short people should not necessarily believe what they read online until confirmed by police or a reputable media source, such as SunLive.”