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NTSB fires intern who confirmed 'offensive' names of Asiana pilots

July 16, 2013 at 2:10 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, July 16 (UPI) -- The National Transportation Safety Board says an intern who confirmed false names in the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco to a TV station has been fired.

In a statement, the NTSB said the intern had acted "outside the scope of his authority" in releasing the names to KTVU, Oakland, Calif., CNN reported Tuesday.

The names reported by KTVU were vulgar puns based on derisive stereotypes of Asians' accents when speaking English.

The TV station reported the names during its noon newscast Friday, and then issued an apology Friday evening.

"We made several mistakes when we received this information," the station said. "First, we never read the names out loud, phonetically sounding them out.

"Then, during our phone call to the NTSB where the person confirmed the spellings of the names, we never asked that person to give us their position with the agency."

The statement acknowledged the station "rushed the names on our noon newscast."

The NTSB apologized for the "inaccurate and offensive" names but spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said the intern "did not make up the names and provide them to the station."

The identities of crewmembers or others involved in transportation accidents are not released by the NTSB, the agency said.

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