Officials: Centralia sinkhole unrelated to underground fire

Posted at 3:42 PM, Feb 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-17 15:42:18-05

CENTRALIA, Pa. (AP) — State environmental authorities say a 100-foot (30-meter) sinkhole found in a central Pennsylvania town almost completely emptied by a decades-long underground fire is unrelated to the blaze.

The (Bloomsburg) Press Enterprise reports that a Department of Environmental Protection crew started work Friday to fill the sinkhole near Route 61 in Centralia. Work is expected to continue this week.

The Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation says it's due to mine subsidence on a different underground coal seam, and mine maps indicate such things occurred before the fire.

A $42 million federal relocation program moved more than 1,000 people out of Centralia by the late 1980s because of the fire that's burned underground since 1962. Only a few people who sued for the right to remain still live there.