An Ohio family experiences a chemical spill movie in real life: a chemical train derails a mile from their home

White Noise, currently on Netflix, is based on the book by American hit author Don DeLillo (86) from 1985, published in Dutch as Witte Ruis. DeLillo is also known for books like “Underworld” and most recently, “The Silence.”

In the book and movie, the Gladney family in Ohio is forced to flee their home after a chemical leak from a train car sends a noxious black cloud over the area. They later return home and try to resume their normal lives. DeLillo published the book shortly after the Bhopal chemical disaster in India, which claimed nearly 4,000 lives.

That fantasy and reality can be close to each other and sometimes even merge, which is proven once again by the fate of the American Ratner family. Ben, Lindsay Ratner, and their four children, Lily, Izzy, Simon, and Brody, also starred in the film. Less than two years later, much to their dismay, they auditioned for the movie role in real life.

A week ago, a train derailed less than a mile from their home in East Palestine, a community of nearly 5,000 people in Ohio, not far from the Pennsylvania border, in the northern United States. And just like the Gladney family in the movie, they had to flee their home because of the chemicals.

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Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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