The former Hawaii state worker who mistakenly sent a missile alert last month says he thought the attack was real.
The 50-year-old, who under the condition he remains anonymous, spoke to reporters recently and said he was devastated about the error. He also said he had received death threats.
Yahoo News 7 reported the man was working a shift on January 13 and a call came in. He said he didn't hear the word "exercise", despite other workers saying they clearly heard it.
- Hawaii accidentally sends out missile threat alert
- Kiwi woman tells of horrific Hawaii missile false alarm
"I heard the part, 'this is not a drill,'" he said. "I didn't hear exercise at all in the message or from my co-workers."
"Immediately afterward, we find out it was a drill and I was devastated. I still feel very badly about it," he said. "I felt sick afterward. It was like a body blow," he said.
"It's been hell for me the last couple weeks."
The worker was fired by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency; however, Yahoo New 7 reported his superiors knew for years he had problems performing his job.
He had previously believed drills for tsunami and fire warnings were actual events, and colleagues were not comfortable working with him, the state said.
The incident "shines a light" on the state's system failures, the worker said, adding he believes the federal government should handle such alerts, Yahoo News 7 reported.