Anna Coren and Daniel Hodge illegally entered a Thai childcare center where 24 kids were killed
CNN journalists Anna Coren and Daniel Hodge have issued an apology for trespassing on the scene of the brutal murder of 24 children in a Thai childcare center. The pair were interrogated by police and agreed to leave Thailand.
The reporters entered a children's center in the town of Uthai Sawan, where a man shot and stabbed people before murdering his own family and committing suicide last week. 36 people were killed, including 24 children. At least a dozen others were injured.
"My deepest apologies to the people of Thailand, especially the families of the victims," Coren said in a video circulated by Thai media outlets on Sunday. "We know your country is going through a painful time and we never came here to cause more grief."
The video appeared to have been filmed inside a police station.
Coren and Hodge were accused of trespassing and filming a crime scene without permission. In a statement on Sunday, CNN said that they had been given permission from Thailand Health Department officials working at the scene, but discovered afterwards "that these officials were not authorized to grant this permission."
Thai police dropped the charges, but fined Coren and Hodges for working as journalists while on tourist visas. The pair voluntarily agreed to leave Thailand, the BBC reported.
Police investigated the incident after the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand condemned the reporters' actions.
"This was unprofessional and a serious breach of journalistic ethics," the press club said in a statement on Saturday.
"CNN meanwhile should answer a simple question. Would one of their crews have behaved in the same way at a serious crime scene in the United States?"
On social media, Thai commenters were unhappy with CNN's statement and Coren's apology. "Parachuting in for 15 minutes to get blood stained floors of a scene where 20+ kids were just slaughtered does not humanize anything," one crime blogger wrote on Twitter. "You wanted gore. Go to hell."