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NTSB apologizes for intern’s release of fake crew names in San Francisco crash

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Posted at 11:25 AM, Jul 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-13 11:25:20-04

(CNN) — The National Transportation Safety Board apologized Friday for “inaccurate and offensive” names that were mistakenly confirmed by a summer intern as those of the four pilots of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which crash-landed last week in San Francisco.

The apology came after Oakland’s KTVU broadcast the bogus names, which phonetically spelled out phrases such as “Something Wrong” and “We Too Low.”

“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 in a statement.

The names were read during KTVU’s noon broadcast on Friday, and the news station later apologized on air and on its website.

The CNN affiliate said the names were confirmed by an NTSB official in Washington prior to air.

It was not immediately clear who produced the fake names.

“Nothing is more important to us than having the highest level of accuracy and integrity, and we are reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again,” KTVU later posted on its website.

The NTSB said it does not release or confirm the identities of crewmembers or people involved in transportation accidents.

“We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today’s incident,” the NTSB statement said.

The NTSB did not identify the intern, but said, “Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.”

Asiana Airlines identified the pilot flying the Boeing 777 that crashed at San Francisco International Airport as Lee Kang-Kuk.

Asiana Flight 214 was carrying 291 passengers and 16 crew members when it crash landed Saturday on the runway after striking a seawall.

Three passengers died, including a girl who died of her injuries Friday morning. More than 180 others were injured.