Asiana Airline to pursue suit against TV station over pilot names

July 15, 2013 at 9:33 AM
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OAKLAND, Calif., July 15 (UPI) -- Asiana Airlines said it will sue an Oakland, Calif., television station that read offensive names identified as the pilots of the ill-fated Flight 214.

Airline officials said, however, they would not sue the National Transportation Safety Board after an intern at the federal agency mistakenly confirmed "inaccurate and offensive" names as the pilots, CNN reported Monday.

During the weekend the airlines said they would sue both the NTSB and KTVU, Oakland.

The bogus names phonetically spelled out phrases such as "Something Wrong" and "We Too Low" were read during KTVU's noon broadcast Friday.

Airline spokesman Na Chul-hee told CNN Asiana retained a U.S. law firm to file a defamation claim against the television station, but didn't plan to separately sue the NTSB.

"After a legal review, the company decided to file a law suit against the network because it was their report that resulted in damaging the company's image," he said.

On Friday, KTVU anchor Tori Campbell read the names. The news station later apologized on air and on its website.

The station said the names were confirmed by an NTSB official in Washington before they were read on the air.

The NTSB also apologized for the "inaccurate and offensive" names that were erroneously confirmed by a summer intern, whom the agency said acted beyond "the scope of his authority."

It was not immediately clear who produced the fake names, but the NTSB said it was not the intern.

"The names were presented by the station, to the intern for confirmation," NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said, adding that the NTSB said it does not release or confirm the identities of crew members or people involved in transportation accidents.

Asiana Flight 214 was carrying 291 passengers and 16 crew members when it crash landed July 6 on the runway after striking a seawall at San Francisco International Airport. The airline, based in Seoul, identified the pilot at the controls of the Boeing 777 that undershot a runway and crash-landed as Lee Kang-Kuk. Two other pilots were in the cockpit when the accident occurred.

Three passengers died, including a girl who died of her injuries Friday. More than 180 others were injured.

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