French radio station publishes obituaries of people still alive after 'major bug'

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By Euronews
Obituaries for Pele and Queen Elizabeth II were published by RFI.
Obituaries for Pele and Queen Elizabeth II were published by RFI.   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File // Ben Stansall/Pool via AP

A French radio station has apologised after publishing the obituaries of several prominent and alive people.

Obituaries for Pele, Clint Eastwood, and Queen Elizabeth II were prematurely live on the website of Radio France Internationale (RFI) on Monday.

RFI said in a statement that a "technical problem" led to the erroneous publications.

"Our technical teams are mobilised to rectify this major bug and determine its cause and responsibilities."

Other obituaries published on the website were for actress Brigitte Bardot, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and former US President Jimmy Carter.

Broadcasters often prepare obituary material in advance to publish it promptly when a death is announced.

RFI said that "around one hundred" of these draft obituaries were mistakenly uploaded to their website on Monday morning, as well as partner sites like Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

The radio station said the technical problem occurred when they were moving its website to a different content publication system.

"All the articles are in the process of being removed from RFI's digital environments and partner platforms."

"An internal investigation is being conducted to determine the causes of this regrettable incident."

Former Minister and Ex-President of Olympique Marseille, Bernard Tapie, whose obituary was also involuntarily published, has previously had his death announced by two other French news outlets.