There is a fire that has been burning for 50 years straight! According to Thinking Blog in May 1962, Centralia Town, Pennsylvania, United States, the town council sends some volunteer firemen to an abandoned mine pit to clear the towns landfill.
The firemen did what they always did in the past, set fire to the dump and let it burn for some time then they eventually put it off. They did put it off but the fire wasn’t completely extinguished. The fire started burning below the surface, spread through a hole in the rock pit into the abandoned coal mines that lay below the town. They tried to put it out but nothing worked.
But it was in 1981 when it became national news. A young boy 12 years old fell into a 45 meter sink hole that caved beneath his feet. He was saved by his cousin before he could plunge even further to his death. 3 years later the American government allocated 42 million to relocate the 1000 residents of Centalia and today only 9 people currently reside in the town.
Brian Merchant in his blog in Treehugger says that the fire is has now burned over an area of over 500 acres and over the next 100 years could spread to an area of 3700 acres.
These fires are not easy to control with countless other products being burned together with the coal and the greenhouse gasses including methane being released. I know your minds probably swayed to the Mui coal mine in Kitui but am sure the relevant safety have been addressed there by the Kenyan government and all concerned or so we think they have!
photos courtesy of thethinkingblog