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Summer intern for NTSB apparently confirms list of racist joke names for crew members of crashed plane

Posted by David Stewart  July 12, 2013 09:09 PM

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A summer intern with the National Transportation Safety Board is in big trouble after he apparently erroneously confirmed the names of the crew members of Asiana flight 214. The flight crashed while trying to land at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.

Those names turned out to be racist jokes, ones that fooled an Oakland television station enough to broadcast them on the air.

During its noon newscast Friday, KTVU-TV read the four names on the air and showed an accompanying graphic. As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, it soon became clear that the names were fakes and possibly meant to make fun of the fact that many of the passengers on Saturday's crash were Asian:

"The first name — “Captain Sum Ting Wong” — should have been a give-away that something really was wrong. But [co-anchor Tori] Campbell kept reading… “Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, Bang Ding Ow.”

The station later issued an apology:

"KTVU general manager Tom Raponi said 'We are reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again.' "

Read the station's full apology here.

The NTSB was also apologizing Friday, saying that a summer intern had "acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft."

It was not clear from the press release what the fate of the intern was, but the NTSB statement added: "Appropriate actions will be taken to ensure that such a serious error is not repeated."

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the KTVU co-anchor. The co-anchor is Tori Campbell.

Mobile users unable to see the video, click here.

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