TODAY   |  July 13, 2013

Apologies after on-air blunder over Asiana pilots’ names

The National Transportation Safety Board says an intern mistakenly confirmed to a TV station racially offensive fake names for the pilots of the Asiana flight that crashed in San Francisco. NBC’s Michelle Franzen reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the crash of asiana flight 214 . the death toll increased to three people after a girl died on friday. the wreckage of the plane was hauled away. the runway is open for take offs and landings once again this morning.

>>> a major embarrassment for a san francisco tv station . they were tricked into airing a racially incentive report about the crash, identifying the crew members on the plane. the ntsb is admitting it is their fault. what you are about to hear contained offensive language. here is michelle franzen .

>> reporter: it started as a late breaking development at the noon broadcast.

>> we just learned the names of the four pilots on board the flight. it is can tan sum ting wong. these are the names of the pilots on board flight 214 .

>> reporter: the offensive names and the obvious hoax spread quickly on the internet. within minutes they realized their error and apologized.

>> this morning, we apologize for the error.

>> reporter: they cited they have been confirmed by the ntsb .

>> we made a mistake.

>> reporter: friday, they released their own statement and added a summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he confirmed the names. ntsb said actions would be taken to ensure such a serious error would not be repeated. ktvu followed up saying they should have asked for the person's name and title at the ntsb as well as reading the names out loud before going to air.

>> we accept full responsibility for the mistake.

>> for "today," michelle franzen , new