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San Francisco TV Station, NTSB Issue Apologies Following Asiana Airlines Prank

Local Newscast Reported Bogus Names

SAN FRANCISCO (CBSNewYork) – A San Francisco local news station has come under fire for reporting fake and what some have called offensive names, purported to be those of the pilots of the fatal Asiana Airlines crash.

A KTVU anchor read along as the crude, bogus names were displayed on the screen during the station’s Friday noon broadcast.

Asiana Flight 214 was landing in San Francisco from South Korea when it crashed on Saturday afternoon.

The station caught its error about 15 minutes later, offering an on-air apology and said the NTSB provided the bogus names.

The NTSB later issued the following statement:

“The National Transportation Safety Board apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots. A summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and we deeply regret today’s incident.”

Fox affiliate KTVU president and GM Tom Raponi has also issued an apology for the error.

“We sincerely regret the error and took immediate action to apologize, both in the newscast where the mistake occurred, as well as on our website and social media sites. 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,” he said in a statement.

The broadcast has since gone viral on some blogs and on social media, with many ridiculing the TV station for failing to catch the bogus names before they were aired.

The Asian American Journalists Association, outraged by the error, released the following statement:

“Even if the NTSB confirmed the information, the names originated from somewhere – and we fail to understand how those obviously phony names could escape detection before appearing on the broadcast.”

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