FCC: Employee mistook missile drill for real deal

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.