WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board issued an apology Friday evening 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."
San Francisco station KTVU was caught in a social media tsunami Friday afternoon after its noon broadcast carried the purported names of the flight crew -- all fake names designed to sound offensive when read out loud, KMGH reported.
A station news anchor gave the names as Sum Ting Wong," "Wi Tu Lo," "Ho Lee Fuk" and "Bang Ding Ow" as an onscreen graphic showed the names printed out.
The station issued an apology later in the newscast saying "an NTSB official" confirmed the names. It also posted an apology online.
Friday evening, the NTSB weighed in, explaining "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 statement also reiterated that the agency "does not release or confirm the names of crew members 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. "
The NTSB said that "appropriate actions" will be taken to ensure such a "serious error" is not repeated.
While the station continued to say the names were "confirmed" by the NTSB, it did not say where the names originally came from.