The environmental disaster happening in East Palestine, Ohio has a weird connection with a recent Netflix hit.
Last week, a train carrying five tankers of combustible chemicals including butyl acrylate and vinyl chloride overturned in the small, working-class town forcing first responders to carry out a “controlled burn” before the unstable liquids could explode. Residents were ordered to evacuate while authorities tried to assess whether the air and local water supply had been contaminated by the spill, eventually returning to their homes when the Environmental Protection Agency deemed it safe to do so.
Currently, a massive black plume is hovering above the town and residents are reporting local wildlife, along with their own pets (mostly dogs, foxes, fish, and birds) are either dying or experiencing breathing issues. Some townspeople say there’s a chemical odor in the air while others are questioning if they can trust the government’s recommendation to return home when the long-term effects of the spill aren’t yet known.
THREAD: Photos, videos, and news reports about the train derailment and toxic chemical release in East Palestine, Ohio.
This may be the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
— kanekoa.substack.com (@KanekoaTheGreat) February 13, 2023
It’s an epic catastrophe at this point and it’s just getting stranger by the second.
That latest disturbing bit of news about the crash shares an odd tie-in to a recent disaster comedy on Netflix. Noah Baumbach’s White Noise released late last year and starred Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig as parents of a family of five whose lives are upended when “a train accident casts a cloud of chemical waste over their town.” The family is forced to evacuate after the “Airborne Toxic Event” and the rest of the film deals with the lack of media attention surrounding the disaster as well as the couple’s overwhelming fear of death after the spill.
The strange part? Some of the background actors in the film’s evacuation scenes are residents of East Palestine, Ohio which means they filmed a fictional version of the exact environmental emergency they’re now living through.
“The first half of the movie is all almost exactly what’s going on here,” resident Ben Ratner, who was an extra in the film, told CNN. “Everybody’s been talking about that. I actually made a meme where I superimposed my face on the poster and sent it to my friends. All of a sudden, it hit too close to home.”