The Latest: FCC: Errors led to false missile alert in Hawaii
The Latest on Hawaii’s mistaken missile alert (all times local):
The Federal Communications Commission says mistakes led to a false alert that warned of an incoming ballistic missile earlier this month.
Regulators said Tuesday that the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s midnight shift supervisor mistook a drill for the real thing.
A recorded message played that included the drill language, “Exercise, exercise, exercise.” However, the message also erroneously contained the text for a live ballistic missile alert, saying, “This is not a drill.”
Other workers heard the message on a speakerphone. While they knew it to be a drill, the FCC says the employee who issued the false alert “claimed to believe” it was a real emergency and issued the alert.
That officer, who has not been identified, has refused to cooperate in the investigation beyond providing a written statement.
The Federal Communications Commission says a Hawaii employee who mistakenly sent an alert warning of a ballistic missile thought an actual attack was imminent.
The FCC said Tuesday that Hawaii has been testing alert capabilities, and the employee mistook a drill for a real warning about a missile threat. He responded by sending the alert without sign-off from a supervisor.
The name of the worker hasn’t been released. He still works at Hawaii Emergency Management Agency but has been reassigned to a job without access to the warning system.
The alert was sent to cellphones, TV and radio stations in Hawaii, leading people to fear the state was under nuclear attack. It took 38 minutes for officials to send an alert retracting the warning.
The emergency management agency provided the FCC with information from a written statement from the officer.
The Federal Communications Commission says human error and inadequate safeguards are to blame for a missile alert that was sent mistakenly in Hawaii.
The FCC said Tuesday that the individual who sent the false alert refused to talk to the agency, but provided a written statement. The FCC says Hawaii has been testing alert capabilities, and he mistook a drill for a real warning about a missile threat. He responded by sending the alert. There was no sign-off from a supervisor.
The alert was sent to cellphones, TV and radio stations in Hawaii earlier this month, resulting in panic among Hawaiians.
The FCC says that once the false alert was sent, it took 38 minutes to correct it because Hawaii did not have a standardized system for sending such corrections.