After CNN international correspondent Anna Coren and photojournalist Daniel Hodge reported from the scene of last week’s deadly daycare shooting in Thailand, their visas were revoked and they were forced to leave the country after recording an apology video on Monday.
Coren apologized “to the people of Thailand and the families of the victims” in a video posted to YouTube by the English-language news outlet Nation Thailand. “We are so sorry we caused you more pain and suffering… we never came here to cause more grief.” Hodge added his own apology and both prayed and bowed to the Thai police in the video.
In the CNN news segment that was shot at the daycare, where 36 people, including 24 children, were killed on Oct. 6, Coren talked to first responders and showed the still-bloodied floor with the warning “disturbing video.” The clip has since been taken down by CNN, but can still be found at sites including Allentown, Pennsylvania’s WFMZ. CNN’s article about the visit, on which Coren shares a byline, was still online.
Both CNN reporters were in the country on tourist visas and were not authorized to work in Thailand, according to the Bangkok Post. National police chief Damrongsak Kittiprapas told the Post they were fined 5,000 baht ($131.68) each for violating tourist visa regulations. They will not face criminal charges and have not been put on an immigration blacklist.
Coren and Hodge left on a Thai Airways International flight bound for Hong Kong on Monday.
Mike McCarthy, executive vice president and general manager of CNN International, said in a statement provided to TheWrap that the crew didn’t know the daycare center was restricted. McCarthy also said there was no police tape on the scene when Coren and Hodge entered the building. They worked “carefully and respectfully inside the building for around 15 minutes,” during which police tape was put up, McCarthy said.
“The team entered the building in good faith, to gain a fuller impression of what transpired inside and to humanise the scale of the tragedy for their audience,” McCarthy’s statement said. “We deeply regret any distress or offence our report may have caused.”