ORLANDO, Fla. -

American Apparel apologized Thursday night after posting an edited picture of the space shuttle Challenger explosion on social media and tagging it as clouds.

The photo was shared on the clothing company's Tumblr page late Thursday afternoon. Angry followers criticized the company almost immediately, calling for it to pull down the photo.

"This is the iconic image of the Challenger space shuttle exploding, not just some cool smoke and clouds," wrote Amy Vernon.

"Absolutely disgusting," wrote Brad Donald.

After going viral on Twitter, American Apparel took down the photo 45 minutes later.

In a statement to Local 6, American Apparel said:

"A young social media employee who was born after the Challenger tragedy unfortunately re-blogged a photograph of the explosion on our Tumblr account unaware of the context. We deeply apologize for the insensitivity of that selection and the post has been deleted."