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San Francisco TV station airs bogus SFO pilot names, apologizes

July 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A San Francisco-based television station has apologized for incorrectly reporting the names of the pilots in the Asiana Airlines crash after the NTSB says an intern erroneously confirmed them.

The racially-offensive names aired on KTVU-TV on Friday. KTVU co-anchor Tori Campbell read the names aloud as a graphic with the phony names appeared on-screen. The clip of the report has gone viral.

The NTSB issued a statement.

"...A summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft," the statement read, in part. "...Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated."

The statement also said the NTSB does not release or confirm the names of crew or people involved in accidents to the media.

The Asian American Journalists Association said KTVU's reporting of the names was "not only wrong, but grossly offensive."

KTVU issued several on-air apologies. Their anchor says no one at the station read the false names out loud before they were read on the air.

"We heard this person verify the information without questioning who they were and then rushed the names on our noon newscast," the station said.

Neither the station nor the NTSB commented on where the names originated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.