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Walk Through Fire: The Train Disaster that Changed America

by Yasmine Ali, MD

363.122 ALI

Do you remember?  Waverly, TN, February 1978

This book is practically a moment-by-moment account of a horrific event that changed the way emergency responders at all levels react to emergencies and resulted in the formation of FEMA.

The accident that started as a 22-car train derailment in the center of town culminated in a propane tanker car explosion killing 16 and injuring over 200 with patients being sent to burn centers all over the middle south.

Author Dr. Ali was a child at the time but both her parents were doctors at the local hospital which transformed into a triage center.  She has interviewed, in detail, survivors of the event; people she’s known since childhood.

This is a spectacular read and was hard to put down.  What type of people survive the trauma and pain of an event like this? This book is a tribute to the emergency responders of Waverly and the spirit of a community.


At 223 pages with photos this is a fantastic, horrifying yet inspiring read.

By Marie Brennan

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