KTVU issues apology for on-air gaffe when naming Asiana flight 214 crew

By Dave Bartkowiak Jr. , Online News Editor, @DaveBartko, dbartkowiak@wdiv.com
Published On: Jul 12 2013 09:12:59 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 13 2013 03:42:44 PM EDT

A summer intern at the National Transportation Safety Board is to blame for giving out erroneous names of the flight crew on Asiana flight 214 which crashed July 6 at San Francisco International Airport.

KTVU Channel 2 issued the following on-air apology:

"On Friday, July 12, during the KTVU Channel 2 Noon newscast, we misidentified the pilots in the Asiana Airlines crash. 

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. KTVU accepts full responsibility for this mistake.

We issued an apology later in the noon newscast, and we also apologized on our website and on our social media sites. We have a lot of good people here at KTVU Channel 2. We pride ourselves on getting it right and having the highest of standards and integrity. Clearly, on Friday, that didn't happen.  So again, from everyone here at KTVU, we offer our sincerest apology

The NTSB released a statement about the intern's "erroneous confirmation.

The statement reads:

"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. The NTSB does not release or confirm the names of crewmembers or people involved in transportation accidents to the media. 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."

The TV station KTVU, based in the San Francisco area, falsely reported the names on Friday and later issued an apology.

"We heard this person verify the information without questioning who they were and then rushed the names on our noon newscast," the apology reads in part.

Also on Friday, it was confirmed a third person -- identified only as a girl -- has died from injuries sustained in last week's crash.

Read: Hospital: 3rd person dies from Asiana crash

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