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Toxic black snow blankets Siberian towns

Wednesday, February 20th 2019, 4:49 pm - Terrifying images of black snow have been emerging on social media.

Residents in the Siberian towns of Prokopyevsk, Kiselyovsk, and Leninsk-Kuznetsky have been sharing images of thick, black snow covering their communities.

The terrifying scene can be attribured to open coal pits in the Kuzbass Basin -- an area that spans 10,000 square miles and is home to 2.6 million people.

One resident described the scene as a "nightmare" to the Siberian Times.

"Our children and us are breathing it."

Anatoly Volkov, director general of the Prokopyevskaya coal factory, told reporters that a device used to contain the dust malfunctioned, prompting an investigation from authorities.

RELATED: Bizarre orange snow blankets eastern Europe

Regardless of the malfunctioning shield, living in the area comes with health risks. People who live in the Kuzbass region, also referred to as the "coal heart of Russia" according to Motherboard, comes with a lifespan approximately 3-4 years shorter than the national avearage, Ecodefense says.

Ecodefense reports the dust from the coal plants contains a range of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic and mercury, which pose risks to health and the environment.

Residents are calling for stricter plant regulations.

VIDEO: RARE, GIANT SNOWBALLS FORM ON SIBERIAN BEACH

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