WASHINGTON -The US Federal Communications Commission said on Saturday it was launching a "full investigation" into a false wireless emergency alert that a ballistic missile was headed for Hawaii, the chairman of the commission said.
"The FCC is launching a full investigation into the false emergency alert that was sent to residents of Hawaii," FCC chairman Ajit Pai said in a Twitter post on Saturday.
The alerts to Hawaii cellphone users were issued at about 8:07 a.m. local time (1807 GMT) saying "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL." The message also appeared on Hawaii television stations, according to news reports. The alerts was officially canceled about 38 minutes later.
The FCC has jurisdiction over the emergency alert system. Earlier this week, Pai said the FCC would vote at its January meeting to enhance the effectiveness of wireless emergency alerts, which have been in place since 2012.
Hawaii's Governor David Ige said in a statement "the public must have confidence in our emergency alert system. I am working to get to the bottom of this so we can prevent an error of this type in the future."
CNN reported Ige told reporters that the mistake was the result of human error and someone at the state emergency management agency pushed the "wrong button" during a shift change.