Who pushed the button? Anger in Hawaii over Civil Defense bungle that told terrified islanders a…
DAILY MAIL UK ^ | Jan 13, 2018 | Keith Griffith and Jennifer Smith For Dailymail.com
Posted on 1/13/2018, 8:07:40 PM by Morgana
FULL TITLE: Who pushed the button? Anger in Hawaii over Civil Defense bungle that told terrified islanders a MISSILE was rocketing towards them causing thousands to flee to bomb shelters and pray for their lives
Anger is spreading in Hawaii after a Civil Defense bungle on Saturday morning, when a mistaken alert warning of an inbound ballistic missile sent thousands fleeing for shelter.
Panicked Hawaiians ran for their lives and even lowered loved ones through manhole covers after receiving the alert at 8.07am local time.
It read: ‘BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL’.
A similar message flashed up on local television networks and brought live sports games to a halt. Actor Jim Carrey, like many others, said he woke up thinking he had ‘ten minutes to live’.
The false alarm was caused by a Hawaii Emergency Management Agency employee who ‘pushed the wrong buttons’ during an internal drill timed to coincide with a shift handover.
Incredibly, officials said the employee who made the mistake wasn’t aware of it until mobile phones in the command center began displaying the alert.
‘This guy feels bad, right. He’s not doing this on purpose – it was a mistake on his part and he feels terrible about it,’ said EMA Administrator Vern Miyagi in a press conference Saturday afternoon.
Miyagi, a retired Army major general, said the employee had been with the agency for ‘a while’ and that he would be ‘counseled and drilled so this never happens again’ – but stopped short of saying whether there would be disciplinary measures.
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