Hawaiian Emergency Worker Who Mistakenly Pushed Missile Alert Button is Reassigned

The worker who sent Hawaii into a panic by mistakenly sending a missile alert has a new job — and it’s nowhere near the early warning system.

Richard Rapoza, spokesman for the Hawaii Emergency Management System, declined to say Monday what his new duties are.

“All we will say is that the individual has been temporarily reassigned within our Emergency Operations Center pending the outcome of our internal investigation, and it is currently in a role that does not provide access to the warning system,” Rapoza said.

The Federal Communications Commission is also investigating the major mishap, which caused 38 minutes of terror Saturday morning for 1.4 million Hawaiians.

The snafu happened several weeks after Hawaii reinstated its Cold War-era nuclear warning system after North Korea ratcheted-up tensions by firing another ballistic missile.

At about 8:05 a.m. Saturday, the worker initiated an internal test by accessing a drop-down menu on a computer program which presented him with two options: “Test missile alert” and “Missile alert.” He was supposed to choose the first option. He chose the second.

At 8:07 a.m., cellphones across the archipelago pinged with the following all-caps warning: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A WARNING.”

Within minutes, however, the U.S. Pacific Command was able to confirm that there was no threat, according to a state timeline of the fiasco.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Corky Siemaszko