News

TV station mistakenly airs derogatory Asiana pilot names

TV station mistakenly airs derogatory Asiana pilot names

A TV station mistakenly identified "Sum Ting Wong," "Wi Tu Lo," "Ho Lee Fuk" and "Bang Ding Ow" as pilots. Photo: Associated Press

(Reuters) – The National Transportation Safety Board apologized on Friday after an intern mistakenly confirmed to a local television station racially offensive fake names for the pilots of an Asiana flight that crashed in San Francisco.

“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,” the NTSB said in a statement.

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW

“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.

The crash of the Boeing 777 plane resulted in the deaths of three teenage girls in a group of students from eastern China who were visiting the United States for a summer camp, one of whom died on Friday in the hospital. Over 180 passengers and crew members were injured.

On Friday, an anchor for Oakland, California, station KTVU read a list of the supposed names of the pilots of the South Korean carrier on its noon broadcast after an employee apparently called the NTSB seeking to verify them.

The names appear to mock the events of the crash. The prank names were: Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow.

KTVU anchor Tori Campbell later came back in the same newscast and told viewers the names “were not accurate despite an NTSB official in Washington confirming them late this morning.”

“We apologize for this error,” she said.

Kelly Nantel, a spokeswoman for the NTSB, said the intern was a student volunteering his time who answered phones but was supposed to pass on questions to official media representatives at the agency.

She declined to say if the intern was fired, but the NTSB said in its statement that “appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.”

It was unclear how KTVU obtained the list of names before reaching out to the NTSB for confirmation. The general manager and the news director at the station did not return emails seeking comment.

The names of the actual Asiana Airlines pilots in the cockpit of the plane were released earlier this week as Lee Kang-kook and his co-pilot Lee Jeong-min.

Recent Headlines

in National

Making headlines this week

Fresh
AP95041159581_28

A look at some of the big stories that made headlines this week and the headlines you may have missed.

in National

WATCH: The history of Memorial Day

Fresh
23-overlay3

This All-American holiday took a long and winding road to become an annual tradition.

in Lifestyle, National

To the beach! Roads expected to be packed for Memorial Day

gas

With lower gas prices and an improved job market, AAA expects more than 37 million Americans to travel this weekend, the most since 2005.

in Election 2016, Local

Clinton heads to New Hampshire for second campaign trip.

WordPress-FeatureImage-04-20-15

Hillary Rodham Clinton returns to the Granite State Friday and will meet with folks in Hampton and Exeter.

in Local

Law enforcement gathering to honor fallen officers.

WordPress-FeatureImage-05-22-15

Gov. Hassan and Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin are scheduled to attend Friday's ceremony which will honor the State's 46 fallen Police officers.