National Security

Hawaii governor: False missile alert sent because someone ‘pushed the wrong button’

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A false mobile alert that warned people across Hawaii of an incoming ballistic missile was sent because “an employee pushed the wrong button,” the state’s governor said Saturday.

Gov. David Ige (D) told reporters that the alert, which caused widespread confusion and panic across Hawaii, was sent because of a human error that occurred as emergency employees were changing shifts.

“It was a mistake made during a standard procedure at the change over of a shift, and an employee pushed the wrong button,” Ige said. 


The alert sent to cellphones on Saturday morning urged people in Hawaii to take immediate shelter and included the stark warning that the notice was “not a drill.”

Ige was set to meet on Saturday with top State Department and Defense officials to discuss the matter.

Minutes after the alert was sent out, Hawaii officials declared that no missile had been fired and that the emergency alert was sent in error. It was 38 minutes, however, before a second alert correcting the first went out.

The incident drew a swift response from lawmakers and officials, who called for an immediate fix to the system.

The Federal Communications Commission announced following the incident that it would launch a full investigation into the matter. The White House said that President Trump had been briefed on the situation, and that it was “purely a state exercise.”

The notice came amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, which has made strides in its nuclear and ballistic missile programs over the past year. The country’s leader Kim Jong Un said earlier this month that Pyongyang possessed nuclear weapons capable of striking the U.S., and that he had a launch button on the desk in his office.

Tags Donald Trump Hawaii Hawaii North Korea
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