In today's incredibly unfortunate Asiana Airlines media mishap, the National Transportation Safety Board has issued a statement apologizing for "inaccurate and offensive names" like "Ho Lee Fuk" and "Sum Ting Wong" that were incorrectly confirmed as belonging to the pilots of Asiana flight 214. In the statement, the government agency blames the misinformation on a summer intern.

From the NTSB (emphasis ours):

The National Transportation Safety Board apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots of Asiana flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.

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.

The NTSB does not release or confirm the names of crewmembers or people involved in transportation accidents to the media. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate factual information regarding an investigation is released and deeply regret today's incident.

Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated.

KTVU, who reported the offensive names over the air earlier today, also apologized for the incident, although they laid the blame with the government. NTSB, for their part, said earlier Friday that it is not their policy to release pilot names in these sort of incidents.

What is still unclear is why either party ran with the four fictitious names when the real names of the two pilots had already been reported earlier this week.

Previously: Local News Names Asiana Airlines Pilots "Ho Lee Fuk," Other Racist Names
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