The identity of the man who “pushed the button” in Hawaii that alerted citizens of an inbound ballistic missile has been revealed and “he feels really bad” about what happened.
The unimaginable mistake happened Saturday morning when a Civil Defense employee of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (EMA) “pushed the wrong buttons” during an internal drill, which was timed to go along with a shift change at 8:07am.
After the panic occurred it wasn’t until 38 minutes later that the all-clear was given.
Interestingly enough, the employee who committed the blunder had no clue he did until everyone in the command center started getting alerts on their phones.
“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 Vern Miyagi, EMA Administrator, Saturday during a press conference .
“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,” reports the Daily Mail.
Hawaii Governor David Ige made this statement at the press conference: ‘I am sorry for the pain and confusion it caused. I, too, am extremely upset about this and am doing everything I can do to immediately improve our emergency management systems, procedures and staffing.’
The warning which flashed on Hawaiians’ phones was: ‘BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL’.
Panicked citizens “ran for their lives and even lowered loved ones through manhole covers after receiving the alert at 8.07am local time,” reports the Daily Mail. “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'”