'Mysterious' White Dust Over West Virginia, Maryland Caused by Toxic Train Derailment in Ohio? Speculations as Panic Grips Residents

Mysterious white dust was spotted falling in West Virginia, northern Virginia and Maryland causing widespread panic among the residents. Specs of white powder-like substance covered the streets and other outdoor things including vehicles and furniture, on Thursday night.

Train derailment Twitter

Authorities Launch Investigation

Several videos posted on the social media platforms showed strange white dust-like substance falling from the sky. A few videos also showed particles falling prior to landing.

Following the strange event Hampshire County 911 Center on Thursday night asked West Virginia residents to call its non-emergency number to report the falling dust, while Eastern Panhandle Working Fires advised residents to "shut doors and windows and avoid outdoors" until the "mysterious" substance could be identified.

Claiming that the white powder was from a massive dust storm in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma, NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison shared the satellite image on Twitter. "This morning, evidence of the airborne dust (shades of tan) from NM/TX/OK could be seen in @NOAASatellites," read the tweet.

US News reported that the Department of Environmental Protection issued a statement confirming that the dust particles will be tested in a state lab in West Virginia to ascertain if it is related to the storms in the Midwest.

Panic on Social Media

Speaking to ABC News West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Terry Fletcher ruled out the possibility of the white dust particles to be caused by toxic train derailment in Ohio. He also said that continuous air monitors in the Northern Panhandle haven't seen any air quality problems since the crash.

However, the unexplained white dust caused a lot of panic on social media with many speculating about its origin. "Multiple reports of unknown White dust / Particles falling out of the sky in West Virginia and Maryland. So the question is who made it and who put it there?" tweeted a user.

"Last week they blamed BROWN dust in NY, NJ, CT on an Oklahoma dust storm! (And how does that explain the chemical smell?!) THIS WEEK white dust ash particles falling West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland?" read another tweet.

"No, no, no.. we get Saharan dust all the time. It is not a white powder. That is something else. I think the people of West Virginia know what normal is for their state. Just stop. People should take precautions. Lots of weird stuff has been happening for the last 2 years," opined a user.

"White dust falling out of the sky in West Virginia and Maryland? All a controlled depopulation from a sabotaged train derailment," wrote a user.