Centralia, Pennsylvania

Over the weekend I had a chance to visit Centralia, Pennsylvania with some friends. Centralia is a town in the coal region of Pennsylvania has had a coal fire burning below it since 1962. Most of the residents have moved but some still remain.

More info on Centralia can be found through David Dekok’s website and books on the disaster. Wikipedia also has information on Centralia, Pennsylvania.

Interesting notes via Wikipedia:

  • The town of Centralia was featured in the episode “Engineering Disasters #7” of Modern Marvels on the History Channel.
  • The town was featured in episode #59, “Fire”, of the radio program This American Life.
  • The town was featured in an episode of Life After People: The Series on the History Channel. It was used as an example of what would happen to a town after twenty five years without humans.
  • The town is the inspiration for the 1991 cult film Nothing But Trouble, written by Dan Aykroyd.
  • In the 2006 horror film Silent Hill, the town of Silent Hill has been abandoned due to a prolonged mine fire, which writer Roger Avary says was inspired by Centralia.[16] Aspects of this are shown throughout the movie, such as characters wandering through the misty version of Silent Hill wearing mining gear.

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Vent pipes that vent gases from the mine fire burning below dot the landscape.

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Route 61.

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Politics in Centralia, Pennsylvania. A sign from the residents of Centralia to the Governor or Pennsylvania.

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Cemetery headstones visible beyond a wasteland landscape.

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S S Peter-Paul North Cemetery.

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St. Ignatius Cemetery.

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Old Route 61 which is abandoned and falling apart due to the coal fire burning beneath it.

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The coal fire burning below old Route 61 has destroyed the road surface.

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This pit outside the cemetery contains a crack that is smoking from the coal fire still burning since 1962.

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