NTSB apology over racist Asiana pilot names: Intern confirmed prank names to KTVU

KTVU

The NTSB has issued an apology regarding the false information that one of its interns released to TV station KTVU regarding the Asiana Airlines plane crash. 

In a statement released Friday, the NTSB said: "The National Transportation Safety Board apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots of Asiana flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.

"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."

However, NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said: "The names were presented by the station, to the intern for confirmation. The intern did not make up the names and provide them to the station."

The NTSB did not identify the intern but said: "We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today's incident. Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated."

According to the NTSB, the intern was a student who volunteered his time to answer phones and should have passed on questions to official media representatives at the agency.

KTVU reported that the names of the pilots involved in the plane crash were: "Captain Sum Ting Wong", "Wi Tu Lo," "Ho Lee Fuk", and "Bang Ding Ow."

Shortly after the names were aired live on KTVU, the station realized the mistake and quickly issued an apology in the same newscast. 

The new station issued an on-air apology, along with apologies posted on Twitter, Facebook and their official website.

KTVU wrote: "We made several mistakes when we received this information. First, we never read the names out loud, phonetically sounding them out. Then, during our phone call to the NTSB where the person confirmed the spellings of the names, we never asked that person to give us their position with the agency. We heard this person verify the information without questioning who they were and then rushed the names on our noon newscast."

The names were announced by KTVU anchor Tori Campbell who shortly return to the same newscast on Friday to tell viewers that the names "were not accurate despite an NTSB official in Washington confirming them late this morning." She then said, "we apologize for this error."

The names of the pilots involved in the plane crash are Lee Kang-kuk and his co-pilot Lee Jeong-min.

The gaffe comes amidst the news that a third passenger has died from the plane crash. The individual has only been identified as a young girl.

291 passengers and 16 crew members were on Asiana Flight 214 when it crash landed Saturday on the runway after striking a seawall.

Click here for the video of the apology.

Watch the video of the gaffe below:

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