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Underground Coal Fire, 45 years later - Centralia, PA | by _sim_
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Underground Coal Fire, 45 years later - Centralia, PA

This is the fire 45 laters, still burning from underground, through the cracks in the closed part of route 61.


"The ruins of Centralia Pennsylvania no longer exists on some maps. The story began sometime in 1962 along the outskirts of town when trash was burned in the pit of an abandoned strip mine, which connected to a coal vein running near the surface. The burning trash caught the exposed vein of coal on fire. The fire was thought to be extinguished but it apparently wasn't when it erupted in the pit a few days later. Again the fire was doused with water for hours and thought to be out. But it wasn't. The coal then began to burn underground. That was in 1962. For the next two decades, workers battled the fire, flushing the mines with water and fly ash, excavated the burning material and dug trenches, backfilled, drilling again and again in an attempt to find the boundaries of the fire and plan to put the fire out or at least contain it. All efforts failed to do either as government officials delayed to take any real action to save the village. "



For more information on Centralia, many have recommended reading The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy. Also, there is this documentary that is just coming out on DVD: The Town That Was (as of May 19th).


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Taken on October 6, 2007