Centralia, once a booming mining town in Pennsylvania, is now a ghost town with less than 9 residents. I wonder why someone is *still* living there…. A mine fire has been burning beneath the borough since 1962… and it’s still smoldering to this day.
There is enough coal in the eight-mile vein to feed the fire for up to two hundred and fifty years, but it may burn itself out in as few as one hundred years.
The fire started when mine workers burned trash in a dump over an open coal seam, which was actually a common practice. But what they didn’t know, was that the seemingly extinguished blaze was still continuing underground. Today there are many different variations as to what exactly caused the fire, but one thing remains…. anthracite goal is extremely flammable.
“This was a world where no human could live, hotter than the planet Mercury, its atmosphere as poisonous as Saturn’s. At the heart of the fire, temperatures easily exceeded 1,000 degrees. Lethal clouds of carbon monoxide and other gases swirled through the rock chambers.”
(David DeKok, “Unseen Danger: A Tragedy of People, Government and the Centralia Mine Fire”, 2000)