BBC Broadcast reporter Ahmen Khawaja is facing disciplinary action for tweeting "Queen Elizabeth II was dead."
BBC Broadcast reporter Ahmen Khawaja is facing disciplinary action for tweeting “Queen Elizabeth II was dead.”
The tweet was sent during the BBC’s rehearsal of coverage for a royal death, and the network has apologized and launched an internal inquiry on the matter, News.com.au has reported.
The first tweet was sent from Khawaja’s account of at 8:30 GMT and read “BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth is being treated at King Edward 7th Hospital in London. Statement due shortly.”
It was the followed by “Queen Elizabrth (sic) has died.”
The messages sparked a Twitter storm and the rumours were even picked up by some international media outlets, including Germany’s Bild.de and CNN affiliate service CNNNewsource.
Khawaja, a producer for BBC’s Urdu-language service, deleted the messages right away and apologised for the “false alarm” saying that she had left her phone unattended at home, and it was just a “silly prank.”
As it happened, the queen was in hospital for a check-up, leading Buckingham Palace to send a rare statement on the monarch’s health which read “I can confirm that the queen this morning attended her annual medical check-up at the King Edward VII’s hospital in London. This was a routine, pre-scheduled appointment. The queen has now left the hospital.”