‘I am devastated,’ says Hawaii missile alert man
A FORMER Hawaii state worker who sent a false missile alert last month said he is devastated about causing panic but was “100 per cent sure” at the time that the attack was real.
The man in his fifties, who didn’t want to be named because he fears for his safety, says an on-duty call that came in on Jan 13 did not sound like a drill. However, state officials say other workers clearly heard the word “exercise” repeated several times. “Immediately afterward, we find out it was a drill and I was devastated. I still feel very badly about it,” he said. “I felt sick afterward. It was like a body blow.”
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency fired him after the incident.
The man said he didn’t hear the beginning of the message that said: “Exercise, exercise, exercise.”
It took nearly 40 minutes for the agency to figure out a way to retract the false alert.