An employee at a Corpus Christi, Texas news station has been fired, and others suspended or reprimanded, after a live broadcast was interrupted with a vulgar and disturbing audio clip.
"We sincerely regret the error and apologize to our viewers that were watching on Monday evening," KRIS Communications, an NBC affiliate, wrote in a statement. "We immediately began an investigation of the mistake and how it occurred. We learned that a series of technical and human errors lead to the mistake."
During a report about the area's new Harbor Bridge in the middle of Monday night's broadcast, the screen abruptly went black and a male voice could be heard whispering obscenities.
"Smell it, finger it, f— it, lick it, smell it," the voice says in the video below.
Warning: The video below contains graphic language.
News anchor Stephania Jimenez then cut in to apologize on the station's behalf. The news outlet posted an apology on its Facebook page, but it was quickly taken down.
The news station's statement noted that the audio was a male station reporter's voice, but did not give further details as to his identity. It did mention that actions were taken, including a termination of an employee as well as a suspension and reprimands to an undisclosed number of employees.
The station also noted that it is reviewing its editing workflow to prevent similar future interviews.
News Director Paul Alexander told The Caller Times that "mistakes like this cannot happen again."
"This is something that we take very seriously," Alexander said. "We will get to the bottom of this."
He noted that the investigation should be completed quickly and that findings will be released.
When the broadcast continued Monday night, the internet didn't let the situation go unnoticed. Many recordings of the broadcast have been posted on social media and several memes have been made poking fun at the interruption.