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Extras Who Acted In Netflix Film Now Eerily Living Through Its Plot After Ohio Train Disaster

The 2022 Netflix film 'White Noise' follows a family in Ohio after a freight train crashes and explodes, spilling toxic chemicals into the air—and includes extras from East Palestine.

Adam Driver in "White Noise"; East Palestine, Ohio train disaster
Netflix; DUSTIN FRANZ/AFP via Getty Images

With each passing day, the situation at the East Palestine, Ohio, toxic chemical spill seems to go from bad to worse.

And what few details have emerged about the disaster make it seem like it was totally preventable.

In a fitting and uncomfortable twist, it now seems there's a connection between the East Palestine disaster and a satirical Netflix film about a very similar disaster.

Noah Baumbach's White Noise is a satirical disaster comedy adaptation of Don DeLillo's book of the same name, about an "airborne toxic event" that results from a train crash.

Much like East Palestine, the disaster is covered up by the company responsible and barely reported on in the media. Also like East Palestine, the disaster in White Noise takes place in and was filmed in Ohio.

And it turns out that the parallels go even deeper—some of the film's extras are residents of East Palestine and among those currently dealing with the likely deadly aftermath of the Norfolk Southern catastrophe there.

One of those extras, East Palestine resident Ben Ratner, appeared on CNN recently, and talked about the similarities between real life and the movie.

"The first half of the movie is all almost exactly what’s going on here...All of a sudden, it hit too close to home."

The situation in East Palestine is particularly harrowing given that the information residents have been given by government entities like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not at all align with what residents are witnessing in their own neighborhoods.

After an initial brief evacuation so the EPA could investigate the spill, residents were told it was safe to move back home even as the disaster's mushroom cloud from a controlled burn of the incredibly toxic vinyl chloride the train was carrying continues to hover over the town.

But residents have reported that pets and livestock have been dying en masse or struggling to breathe, and local creeks and waterways are full of dead fish.

For his part, Ratner told CNN that he and his family aren't coming anywhere near East Palestine any time soon, and they're not sure they'll stay once they do go back.

On Twitter, the similarities between East Palestine and White Noise definitely struck people as unsettling.

DeLillo's book White Noise, which he wrote in 1985, has often been heralded for seeming to have predicted several major future events, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here's hoping he's wrong more often in his future works.