Just in time for the Fourth of July, clothing retailer American Apparel posted a photo of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, which it says an employee mistook for fireworks.
Seven astronauts — all Americans — died Jan. 28, 1986, when the Challenger exploded less than two minutes into its flight.
On Thursday, on the eve of U.S. independence celebrations, American Apparel put a colour-enhanced photo of the Challenger blast on its Tumblr account (external - login to view) with the tags "Smoke" and "Clouds."
Some users took screenshots before the company took down the post and later apologized, blaming the gaffe on a young, foreign employee.
"The image was re-blogged by one of our international social media employees who was born after the tragedy and was unaware of the event," the company tweeted.
American Apparel, founded by Montreal native Dov Charney, is no stranger to controversy. Last year it was criticized for selling a T-shirt called "Period Power" that depicted a bleeding ******.
Last month, the company's board ousted chairman and CEO Charney because of allegations of misconduct.
American Apparel apologizes for Challenger disaster photo | Fashion | Life | Tor (external - login to view)