Bay Area Fox affiliate KTVU-TV on Friday reported the purported names of the pilots on the deadly Asiana Flight 214. It must have seemed like a really good scoop for them as no other news outlets had acquired the list of names.
(Scroll down for update)
As it turns out, KTVU-TV didn't have that list either. What the station did have was a list of very fake Chinese names.
Nonetheless, the news anchor read the names from the teleprompter without catching the practical joke.
"KTVU has just learned the names of the four pilots who were on board the flight. They are Captain Sum Ting Wong Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow," the anchor said. "The NTSB has confirmed that these are the names of the pilots on board flight 214 when it crashed.
Watch the video below:
KTVU quickly issued an apology. Interestingly, the station stood by their claim that an official with the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed the names Friday morning. Perhaps that official is the prankster.
"Earlier in the newscast we gave some names of pilots involved in the Asiana Airlines crash. These names were not accurate despite an NTSB official in Washington confirming them late this morning. We apologize for the error," KTVU said later in the broadcast.
Some have called the joke racist, while the Chicago Sun-Times also apologized earlier this week for a front page headline that read, "FRIGHT 214," which was apparently criticized for sounding like a "stereotype of an Asian accent," the Huffington Post reports.
Hospital officials on Friday said a girl on the Asiana Airlines flight has died from her injuries, becoming the third casualty of the crash in San Francisco.
Further, it was revealed that one of the two Chinese teenagers killed in the Asiana Airlines disaster was hit by a fire truck while covered with firefighting foam, authorities said Friday, revealing a startling detail that suggested she could have survived the crash only to die in its chaotic aftermath.
UPDATE: The NTSB has released a statement confirming that an intern "acted outside the scope of his authority" and confirmed the fake names of the pilots on Asiana Flight 214.
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.
It looks like maybe, just maybe, that intern risked his position to pull off a pretty funny prank.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.