August 18, 1997 in Nation/World

Company Apologizes For Massacre Game

From Staff And Wire Reports

A company owned by Virgin Airlines chief Richard Branson has apologized after a game based on the massacre of 16 children and their teacher in Scotland was found on an Internet site accessed through Virgin Net.

Ivan Izikowitz, technical director of London-based Virgin Net, said Saturday night the company did not know the Web site contained such offensive material and removed it as soon as it was discovered.

“We certainly apologize for any hurt and distress that the part we played may have caused,” he said.

Families of the children and teacher killed by gunman Thomas Hamilton on March 13, 1996, in Dunblane, Scotland, were outraged at the game. It invited players to shoot at children and those who hit all the targets with the fewest bullets were awarded a fictional accolade.

The game was placed on a site created by one of the 6,000 people who access the Internet by subscribing to Virgin Net. Izikowitz said the subscription of the unidentified person who created the massacre game had been terminated.

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