Centralia was a coal-mining town in Pennsylvania. In 1962, a fire started in one of the mine shafts and spread throughout the network of shafts of under the town. Since it was a coal mine, the fire found plenty of fuel. If that wasn’t bad enough, the residents had to deal with poisonous gases leaking out of the mines and sinkholes appearing.
Yahoo News reported, “The mine fire has transformed Centralia into a macabre tourist attraction. There’s an intact street grid with almost nothing on it, clouds of steam waft from the cracked earth, and visitors gawk at the ruins of an abandoned highway.”
The federal government started a relocation program and by the 1990, more than a 1,000 people had moved away and 500 buildings razed. After all, who wants to live in a town that looks like it is the entrance to Hell?
Apparently there were people who wanted to live there, though. Eight residents recently settled their lawsuit against Pennsylvania that was filed when the state tried to evict them. They can stay as long as they want and they get $349,500.
Congratulations to them on winning their case, but given where they live, I think it’s a bit of a hollow victory.
Here’s the link to the Yahoo News story.