NTSB Fires Intern Who Confirmed Offensive Asiana Pilot Names
The National Transportation Safety Board intern who confirmed several offensive, fake names of pilots of the crash-landed Asiana Airlines Flight 214 is no longer with the agency, according to CNN.
Both the NTSB and KTVU, the Oakland TV station that read out the phony names on a Friday newscast, have apologized for the gaffe. The NTSB has clarified that it was called by KTVU to verify the names and that the intern, acting "outside the scope of his authority," had confirmed them.
The NTSB would not identify the intern, telling CNN in a statement, "appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated." The cable network cites "a government official with knowledge of the situation" who confirmed that the intern was let go.
Meanwhile, Asiana says it will proceed with a planned lawsuit against KTVU but will not name the NTSB in the suit, as it had said it might. The Korean airline has hired American attorneys in the defamation suit, claiming the prank damaged the company's image.
It's not yet clear where the fake names originated from.
The July 6 disaster at San Francisco International Airport has claimed three lives: two teenage girls, one of whom was killed by a speeding fire truck on the tarmac, and a third girl, who died of her injuries Friday. Two more adult survivors remained in critical condition.
A call to the NTSB for comment was not immediately answered.