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Newspaper article angers West residents, Trib responds and apologies


A Central Texas community is furious after reading an explicit article in Thursday morning's Waco Tribune Herald. The article described the graphic autopsy results found during the examination of the West Fertilizer explosion victims.

Most residents are angry because of the disturbing details in the article, but they also feel the timing isn't right. Many are still trying to heal from the traumatic event.

West resident Joshua Eubanks says, "A lot of it shouldn't have been put in there. I'll put it that way. They don't know what we have been through, what our city has been through."

"I felt it was way too graphic to be putting about these men who sacrificed their lives to be at this was just sickening," West native Taylor Dudik added.

Many West residents felt the Waco Tribune Herald went too far when it published it's article because of the graphic detail. Detail that explained what examiners found when they inspected the bodies of the victims.

"The city is not done with the grieving part," Eubanks said. "And for the Waco Trib to come out and put that stuff in there. It's not right."

Not only were the disturbing images included in the article, but so were some additional details. The article mentions a few of the men having blood alcohol levels above the legal limit. It also states that one blood test showed one victim had THC, an active ingredient in marijuana, in his system.

Residents felt those details tarnished the legacy of those who died.

"To me they are disgracing these people's memories and their family's memories of them," West resident Misty Lambert said.

Some people understood the Trib's reasoning for running the story, but they felt it could have been handled differently. While others say Thursday's article hurt the paper's reputation in West.

"I understand as a media you want to give out the information. I felt the way it was worded was way to graphic period," Dudik said.

"I am done with my subscription, my family is," Eubanks said. "And I imagine 90 percent of West won't have Waco Trib no more due to that...I think Waco Trib made a big mistake."

The Waco Tribune Herald issued a statement on their website Thursday afternoon in which they explained their reasoning for the article and apologized to anyone who felt hurt.

The Trib said, "Some of the people with whom we've spoken in the past day suggest that perhaps such reporting comes too soon, when wounds in West are still fresh. We are deeply sorry this story has proven so upsetting and has aggravated the healing we sincerely wish for the people of West."

The Trib also says their only intent is to report the story responsibly and accurately.

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