BBC sorry for tweet about queen’s ‘death’

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

The BBC on Wed­nes­day apol­o­gized and launched an in­ter­nal in­quiry af­ter a tweet sent from the ac­count of one of its pro­duc­ers said Queen El­iz­a­beth II had died, dur­ing a test of cov­er­age for a royal death.

The first of a se­ries of tweets was sent from the ac­count of broad­cast re­porter Ah­men Khawaja at around 9.30 a.m. (0830 GMT), and said: “BREAK­ING: Queen El­iz­a­beth is be­ing treated at King Ed­ward 7th Hos­pi­tal in Lon­don. State­ment due shortly.”

Khawaja then added: “Queen El­iz­abrth (sic) has died,” ac­cord­ing to a screen shot pub­lished by Bri­tish me­dia.

The tweets sparked a storm on so­cial net­works and the ru­mors about the queen’s health were picked up by some in­ter­na­tional me­dia out­lets, in­clud­ing Ger­many’s Bild.de and CNN af­fil­i­ate ser­vice CNNNew­source.

Khawaja, a pro­ducer for BBC’s Urdu- lan­guage ser­vice, apol­o­gized im­me­di­ately for the “false alarm” and deleted the mes­sages, say­ing: “Phone left unat­tended at home. Silly prank, Apolo­gies for up­set­ting any­one!”

The cor­po­ra­tion later an­nounced that it had launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion as part of its dis­ci­plinary process.

“Dur­ing a tech­ni­cal re­hearsal for an obit­u­ary, tweets were mis­tak­enly sent from the ac­count of a BBC jour­nal­ist say­ing that a mem­ber of the royal fam­ily had been taken ill. The tweets were swiftly deleted and we apol­o­gize for any of­fence,” it said.

Coin­ci­den­tally, the queen was in hos­pi­tal early Wed­nes­day for a check-up, lead­ing Buck­ing­ham Palace to send a rare state­ment on the monarch’s health.

“I can con­firm that the queen this morn­ing at­tended her an­nual med­i­cal checkup at the King Ed­ward VII’s hos­pi­tal in Lon­don,” it said. “This was a rou­tine, pre-sched­uled ap­point­ment. The queen has now left the hos­pi­tal.”

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