The Latest: Worker who sent missile alert had past issues
Jan. 31, 2018
HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on Hawaii's mistaken missile alert (all times local):
The now-fired Hawaii emergency worker who sent a false missile alert that caused widespread panic and confusion had performance issues in the past.
A report released Tuesday from an internal investigation into the Jan. 13 alert says the worker confused real-life events and drills at least two previous times. State officials say he was fired Friday.
The report describes a drill leading to the mistaken alert. Even though the word "exercise" was said six times, the employee who pushed the button said he did not hear it.
According to the report, co-workers say he just sat there and seemed confused as others tried to let the public know it was a false alarm.
The administrator of the agency resigned. A second worker has quit and another is being suspended.
A mistaken missile alert that caused widespread panic and confusion in Hawaii has led to the resignation of the state's emergency management leader and the firing of the worker who sent the false warning.
Maj. Gen. Joe Logan, the state adjutant general, says Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Vern Miyagi resigned Tuesday.
The employee who has been fired mistakenly sent an emergency alert to mobile devices and TV and radio stations warning of an incoming missile strike on Jan. 13. Regulators say he mistook a drill for the real thing.
Logan says a second worker has quit before disciplinary action was taken and another is being suspended without pay.
A corrected alert was not sent to mobile devices for nearly 40 minutes because state workers had no prepared message for a false alarm.
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.