'Bird Box' Producers Under Fire for Using Real-Life Disaster Footage in Netflix Movie

More than 40 people died in the real-life incident that took place less than six years ago.

Netflix is under fire for using real-life disaster footage of Canada’s 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail tragedy in the Sandra Bullock-led thriller, "Bird Box".

More than 40 people died in the Quebec town in the summer of 2013 when an unattended 74-car freight train carrying millions of gallons of crude oil derailed, resulting in the fire and explosion of multiple tank cars. Forty-two people were confirmed dead, and five were declared missing. They were never found, bringing the official death toll to 47. The explosion destroyed more than half the downtown area.

The Lac-Mégantic rail tragedy is the fourth-deadliest rail accident in Canadian history, and parts of its real-life footage were used in the beginning of "Bird Box" to depict a news story about an apocalyptic scenario.

The current mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Julie Morin, is on the forefront of the outrage, telling local press, "We are looking for assurances from Netflix that they are going to remove [the footage]. You can be sure we are going to follow up on this, and our citizens are on our side."

Peacock Alley Entertainment, which produced the film, told the BBC that they obtained the footage from a stock photography company called Pond5 and that they "weren’t aware of its specific source." PAE apologized for unintentionally dishonoring the tragic event in the town and said that they would be replacing the footage that was "taken out of context and used in entertainment programming."

Netflix, however, seemingly has other plans. BBC reported that the streaming service will not be removing the footage.

Representatives for Netflix, Peacock Alley Entertainment and Pond5 have not yet replied to TooFab’s request for comment.

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