NTSB: Intern erroneously confirmed pilot names; KTVU anchor apologizes
OAKLAND, Calif. — The television news anchor who misreported the names of the four pilots who were aboard Asiana Airlines Flight 214 when it crash-landed last week in San Francisco apologized Saturday for the screwup.
“Apologies to all upset by a story on Noon News,” tweeted Tori Campbell of KTVU in Oakland, California. “A serious mistake was made @KTVU. My thoughts are w/victims of Flt 214 & families.”
The bogus names phonetically spelled out phrases such as “Something Wrong” and “We Too Low.”
Campbell’s apology followed by one day an apology by the National Transportation Safety Board for the “inaccurate and offensive” names that were erroneously confirmed by a summer intern.
“Earlier today, in response to an inquiry from a media outlet, a summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft,” the NTSB said Friday in a statement.
Campbell read the names during KTVU’s noon broadcast on Friday, after which the news station apologized on air and on its website.
“Nothing is more important to us than having the highest level of accuracy and integrity, and we are reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again,” KTVU posted on its website.
The station said the names were confirmed by an NTSB official in Washington prior to air.
It was not immediately clear who produced the fake names, but the NTSB said it was not the intern.
“The names were presented by the station, to the intern for confirmation,” said NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel. “The intern did not make up the names and provide them to the station.”
The NTSB said it does not release or confirm the identities of crew members or people involved in transportation accidents.
“We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today’s incident,” the NTSB statement said.
The NTSB did not identify the intern, but said, “Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.”
Asiana Airlines has identified the pilot flying the Boeing 777 that crashed at San Francisco International Airport as Lee Kang-Kuk.
Asiana Flight 214 was carrying 291 passengers and 16 crew members when it crash landed Saturday on the runway after striking a seawall.
Three passengers died, including a girl who died of her injuries Friday morning. More than 180 others were injured.
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