Local man recounts panic after false missile alert in Hawaii

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - On Saturday morning, people in Hawaii received an emergency alert on their cell phones reading "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."

The alert ended up being a big mistake.

According to Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi, an employee accidentally hit the wrong button.That mistake caused widespread panic and confusion.

KBTX spoke to a College Station couple vacationing in Hawaii that received this alert and experienced the panic of the situation.

Wade Myatt had just grabbed breakfast and was heading back to the house where he and his wife Yolanda are staying when he got the alert.

"My wife and I look at each other in the kitchen and you feel the panic swell up inside you and it reminded me of 9/11. That feeling that I had that day on 9/11. That 'Could this be happening?' kind of thing," explained Myatt.

Myatt said he surprised his wife with this trip to Hawaii for her birthday and that it was a bucket list trip for both of them. Now he says they are certain its a trip they will never forget.

38 minutes after the warning went out, a second alert said it was a false alarm and no missile was incoming.

The chairman of the FCC says the agency is launching a full investigation into the false emergency alert.