The other air crew members were identified as “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk” and “Bang Ding Ow.”
The names were also displayed in a visual accompanying the broadcast. It’s a news anchor’s worst nightmare, because it seems so obvious.
Apparently no one at the station has ever watched an episode of “The Simpsons” where Bart prank calls Mo’s Bar. He asks for people with strange names like “Al Coholic,” “I.P Freely” and Homer Sexual” and Mo promptly shouts them out in the bar.
Brad Belstock, a producer with seven years experience at the station, apparently caught the misake after it went out on the air. He tweeted “Oh sh*t,” according to the San Franciso Chronicle.
Oddly, the station called the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington to confirm the names, and was told they were accurate. The mistaken information was later traced to an NTSB intern. (Was he in on it?)
The station later broadcast a humiliating apology: “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.”
The station said no one sounded out the names before they were “rushed on the air” or bothered to identify the federal official who confirmed them.
The NTSB followed up with its own apology. “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,” it said.
As a matter of policy, the NTSB does not confirm or release the names of crew members in airplane crashes, the agency noted.
Still the incident is likely to go down as one of the biggest on-air gaffs in the annals of television news. Check out the video below and follow TheImproper on Twitter for top news of the unusual.