Fox affiliate KTVU Channel 2 in Oakland, Calif., and the National Transportation Safety Board have each issued an apology following a televised prank involving the names of the pilots aboard the ill-fated Asiana Airlines Flight 214 last weekend, CNN reported.
During the noon newscast Friday, co-anchor Tori Campbell reported the station had learned the identities of the four pilots on the doomed aircraft, which crash-landed at the San Francisco International Airport July 6. Using a teleprompter, Campbell then falsely reported the names of the pilots as “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk,” and “Bang Ding Ow.” The racially offensive names were simultaneously displayed in a graphic featuring the crashed plane.
After coming back from a commercial break, KTVU apologized for the gaffe, but said the names had been provided to it by the NTSB. The station also issued an apology 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 said.
Meanwhile, the NTSB has blamed a summer intern for confirming the false names to KTVU.
“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 in a statement Friday. “We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today’s incident.”
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It hasn’t been confirmed who created the names, but the NTSB said it was not the intern. “The names were presented by the station, to the intern for confirmation,” NTSB representative Kelly Nantel said. “The intern did not make up the names and provide them to the station.”
The intern was not identified by name, but the NTSB said, “Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.”