On Feb. 3 of this year, multiple cars carrying hazardous chemicals as part of a train operated by Norfolk Southern were confirmed to have derailed in the East Palestine area of Ohio.
Developments surrounding the troublingly toxic event have continued to spill out in the weeks since, with updates from the scene of the crash ranging from the frustratingly vague to the expectedly opportunistic. At multiple points throughout the increasingly nationwide coverage, it’s also been noted how the derailment mirrors pivotal sequences in Noah Baumbach’s recent Netflix film White Noise, itself an adaptation of the Don DeLillo novel of the same name.
All of this has built toward a larger discussion on how the real-world impacts of an aggressively capitalistic society always fall atop the already burdened backs of everyday people, all while those with more than enough money to their name count up new dollars.
Meanwhile, as is unfortunately often the case with news of this magnitude, a faction of people have used this frightening-enough-on-its-own story to complicate matters even more by spreading misleading information later pointed out as false. (Consider this another reminder to always stay diligent when it comes to social media-made claims and only rely on strong sources for confirmation.)
As we near one month since word first broke of the derailment, we take a look at what’s happened so far in response to the crash, both at the local and federal level. Read more below.