(Please note offensive language in paragraph 6)
July 12 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
"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
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
"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
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.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and