'Bird Box' Faces Backlash for Including Footage of Real-Life Train Disaster That Killed 47 People

If the news footage of chaos at the beginning of Bird Box looked a little too real, that's because it actually was

sandra bullock in bird box
Photo: Saeed Adyani/netflix

If the news footage of chaos at the beginning of Bird Box looked a little too real, that’s because it actually was.

The Sandra Bullock-starrer used real-life footage of the 2013 Lac-Mégantic, Quebec train derailment that killed 47 people for a sequence depicting the world descending into chaos.

Though Netflix confirmed the use of the footage, according to the BBC, the streaming site said it would not be removing it.

Quebec Train Derailment
Lac-Mégantic train disaster. Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star/Getty Images

Producers of another Netflix show, however, announced they would be replacing the same footage used in an episode after outrage. The show Travelers, starring Will & Grace‘s Eric McCormack, used some of the footage in the latest season to show disruption in London after a nuclear bomb.

On July 6, 2013, an unmanned train derailed near the small town of Lac-Mégantic, causing millions of gallons of crude oil to spread over the surrounding area. The oil later ignited and tragedy ensued when 47 people died and half of the downtown area of the town was destroyed.

Oil Trains Cities, Lac-Megantic, Canada - 8 Jul 2013
2013 train disaster. Uncredited/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The town’s current mayor Julie Morin criticized Netflix’s decision to use the footage in the two instances.

“We find that it’s really a lack of respect,” Morin told Canadian press on Tuesday. “It’s hard enough for our citizens to see these images when they are used normally and respectfully on the news. Just imagine to have them used as fiction, as if they were invented.”

WATCH: Sarah Paulson Reveals Her Favorite Things About Bird Box Co-Star Sandra Bullock

Bird Box stars Bullock, 54, as a woman named Malorie who, along with her two children, comes face to face with an entity that takes the form of people’s worst fears. To reach safety, Malorie and her kids must escape the evil that chases them — and complete the trip blindfolded.

And it certainly proved popular with Netflix users. The streaming giant — which famously never releases viewership data — tweeted the film was watched by over 45 million accounts in the first seven days following its release.

“Took off my blindfold this morning to discover that 45,037,125 Netflix accounts have already watched Bird Box — best first 7 days ever for a Netflix film!” the tweet read.

Bird Box is available to stream on Netflix.

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