China-Underground Fire

Mysterious underground fire ablaze for 59 years in southwest China city

  • English

Shotlist


Chongqing Municipality, southwest China - Oct 28, 2017
++MUTE++
1. Wang Mantang, villager, putting kettles on flames
2. Various of Wang checking whether water boils up
3. Various of flames

4. SOUNDBITE (Chinese) Wang Mantang, villager:
"Firewood used to be expensive in the past and sometimes we had to go to the western mountainous areas to carry back bundles of firewood. But it was more convenient here. We came here with our cooking pots and queued to boil sweet potatoes and pigweed."

++MUTE++
5. Flames
6. Wang pouring water on flames
7. Wang lighting fire

8. SOUNDBITE (Chinese) Wang Mantang, villager:
"They cannot be extinguished. If so, how could there be burning flames? They are burning every minute and every day throughout the year."

++MUTE++
9. Flames
10. Various of Wang leaving with kettles

Storyline


Mysterious underground fire ablaze for 59 years in a district in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality recently attracted media attention.

This patch of land, covering some four square meters, is located in a place called Miao'erdong, Dongmen Village in Changshou District, where seven or eight tongues of flames are burning all year round, rain or snow.

Local residents come here to boil water every morning and evening. They said water could boil up on the flames within five minutes.

"Firewood used to be expensive in the past and sometimes we had to go to the western mountainous areas to carry back bundles of firewood. But it was more convenient here. We came here with our cooking pots and queued to boil sweet potatoes and pigweed," said Wang Mantang, a local villager.

It is surprising that the flames cannot be extinguished. Even if water is poured on them, they will become ignited again within three minutes.

"They cannot be extinguished. If so, how could there be burning flames? They are burning every minute and every day throughout the year," Wang said.

The fire started 59 years ago from a natural gas well that an oil exploitation team drilled back in 1958. But the well was left unexplored because of scarce and scattered natural gas reserves. A dearth of gas has since been emitting all these years and hence the fire keeps burning.

As the fire has not affected crops nearby, local authorities have left it as it is. Villagers would circumvent the patch when passing by, and no accident concerned has ever been reported.

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  • ID : 8064786
  • Published : 2017-10-29 20:05
  • Last Modified : 2017-10-29 20:06:01
  • Location : Chongqing Municipality,China
  • Category : society
  • Duration : 1'10
  • Audio Language : Chinese/Nats/Part Mute
  • Source : China Central Television (CCTV)
  • Restrictions : No access Chinese mainland
  • Version : 3
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