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National Association of Broadcasters

WXMA-FM Covers Derailed Train

Topic: Disaster Relief and Recovery

When a train derailed in January 2007 causing one of the biggest railway fires in the state’s history, WXMA-FM in Louisville, Ky., immediately broke into programming with live reports. The 12 train cars involved in the wreck contained flammable liquid, gases and accelerant compounds, which created a hazardous fire visible from 2 miles away. Authorities shut down an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 65. During the emergency, the station interviewed representatives from the American Red Cross, police and eyewitnesses. On the days following, the morning show conducted five interviews with local Red Cross officials and used live talk to solicit donations to aid the relief effort. Headline articles were posted on the station’s Web site, as well as details on how to help. WXMA’s efforts resulted in more than a hundred people volunteering to help in the first days of the disaster and $70,000 in contributions.

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