Hawaii man says he's devastated about sending missile alert

Hawaii man says he's devastated about sending missile alert

Hawaii man says he's devastated about sending missile alert

For the first time since the widespread panic sparked by that false missile warning that went out across Hawaii, the former emergency management employee who sent out the alert publicly explaining his respective on how it happened.

A minute later, he sent the false alert out and that same day - death threats started coming in.

"The panic, the stress people felt, all the hurt and pain".

The man said the moment he realised his mistake felt like a "body blow".

The fired worker says he plans to file an appeal to try and get his job back, and he's considering filing a lawsuit against the state for defamation.

Granting his first interviews since the scary January 13 debacle, the employee said his decision to push a panic button that alerted Hawaiians of an impending attack was no accident - he really believed it. He mistakenly sent out a warning of an impending missile attack.

While starting a Saturday shift at the emergency operations center in a former bunker in Honolulu's Diamond Head crater on 13 January, the man said, a co-worker took a phone call over the US Pacific Command secure line that sounded like a real warning, he said.

"When the phone call came in, someone picked up the receiver instead of hitting speaker phone so that everyone could hear the message", he said.

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"I couldn't hear the message, the beginning of the message saying 'Exercise, exercise, exercise.' I heard the part 'This is not a drill, ' and then I didn't hear exercise at all, in the message or from my coworkers, up until the point where I sent the alert out".

A Federal Communications Commission report found that the emergency worker did in fact actually believe the threat was real.

Correction to the mistake took 38 long minutes for the authorities to send a follow up message that the emergency alert was false. It was a sense of urgency to put it in place as soon as possible.

During a news conference on Tuesday, investigating officer Brig. Officials also revealed that the alert sender had twice before confused a drill with real-life events.

He also said protocols for the drills he was involved in changed each time. The agency's top official, Vern Miyagi, has since resigned. There's been problems with the procedures and the equipment and lack of training I think that the military should handle this, not the state.

Hawaii state Department of Defense spokesman Lt. Col. Charles Anthony declined to comment on what the former worker said.

According to federal officials, he has refused to co-operate with investigators beyond submitting a written statement. He wasn't trying to impede any investigations, he said: "There really wasn't anything else to say".

He said the employee was repeatedly "counseled and corrected" for his past lapses and was allowed to work at the alert system, despite qualms from his colleagues.

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