CHICAGO - Radio listeners and television viewers across Illinois got some unexpected - and unexplained - interruptions on Tuesday morning.
Tones from the Emergency Alert System were inadvertently broadcast on radio and TV stations, sporadically interrupting programming.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a statement it is installing a new satellite warning system and that the tones were part of a test. The sounds were intended to be heard internally but were accidentally broadcast instead.
The tones, sometimes lasting three or four minutes at a time, were broadcast several times Tuesday morning. FEMA said the accidental alerts were caused by a contractor's installation error.
Spokeswoman Alexandra Kirin said any states tied to the Illinois broadcast network were potentially affected, including Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Broadcasters said in addition to the alerts, their signals were scrambled and other stations were being broadcast on their frequencies.
There was no emergency, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency was not told that the test would be conducted, officials said.