NTSB Fires Intern Who Erroneously Confirmed Fake Asiana Pilot Names
The National Transportation Safety Board intern who confirmed four fake names as those of the pilots of Asiana flight 214 has been let go.
The intern prompted an apology from the NTSB on Friday after it turned out he or she confirmed the fake names in response to a media query from KTVU. The California TV station then went on-air with the "confirmed" names, which were, well, pretty obviously made up and offensive.
On Sunday, Asiana Airlines indicated that they were considering legal action against KTVU in response to the incident, which the airline says has "badly damaged" its reputation. While it looked like the airline was originally considering legal action against the NTSB, they've decided to file a suit against KTVU only,according to a statement on Monday from an airline spokesperson to CNN: "After a legal review, the company decided to file a lawsuit against the network because it was their report that resulted in damaging the company's image."
It's still not clear where the names came from, though the San Francisco Chronicle notes that they probably originated at the station — the (ex) NTSB intern, who shouldn't have been making statements on behalf of the agency anyway, reportedly confirmed the names in response to a question from a news outlet.