Hawaii Missile Alert Sender Was '100% Sure' They Were Being Bombed

Hawaiians believed that they were under attack for 40 minutes before the state

"I just feel bad about what I put the public through as far as the panic is concerned", he said.

"I heard, 'This is not a drill.'".

The worker, who was sacked from his job at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency following the false alarm, said, "It was incredibly hard for me, very emotional" and he "just wanted to crawl under a rock". Push notifications were sent to cell phones belonging to Hawaiian residents and alert messages were played on local television.

Granting his first interviews since the scary January 13 debacle, the employee said his decision to push a panic button that alerted Hawaiians of an impending attack was no accident - he really believed it. "I didn't hear exercise at all in the message or from my co-workers".

The man, who said he doesn't want to be identified for security reasons, was sacked by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) earlier this week. The worker had mistakenly believed drills for tsunami and fire warnings were actual events and colleagues were not comfortable working with him, the state said.

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Photos from the scene show a man being put into a police vehicle , wearing an Italian flag draped over his shoulders. A police tweet added: "Police operation in progress: stay away from the open, avoiding places outdoors".

"I feel very badly for what's happened, the panic and stress people felt and all the hurt and pain", the employee said.

The fired worker says he plans to file an appeal to try and get his job back, and he's considering filing a lawsuit against the state for defamation. Reporter: A preliminary federal report says the employee who sent out the alert confused drills with real-life situations in the past which he adamantly denies, still he says he has learned a lot from this.

A minute later, he sent the false alert out and that same day - death threats started coming in. Gen. Bruce Oliveira, who wrote the report on Hawaii's internal investigation, said at a news conference. Since then, he's reportedly been distressed to the point that he has had trouble eating and sleeping.

A second emergency management employee had to step in to send the cancellation alert after the first employee "froze", officials said. The state did not name him.

The man said he heard the words "This is not a drill" in a voice he did not recognize and reacted as he was trained to do.

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The agency's executive officer, Toby Clairmont, said Wednesday that he stepped down because it was clear action would be taken against agency leaders after the alert.

He also said protocols for the drills he was involved in changed each time.

"I think they came close to people figuring out who it is, and that clearly exposes him to great bodily harm".

Two more employees have resigned, including the administrator of HI-EMA; a third employee will be suspended without pay, an official said Tuesday.

However, the former state worker said those two previous incidents were essentially "paperwork" issues, not errant alerts.

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"The (state and the Federal Communications Commission) have false information in the reports", the man said. He said he was not trying to impede any investigations: "There really wasn't anything else to say".

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