Fire in 119 year old coal mine – Grab Hire Wagon

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A fire has broken out in a 119-year-old coal mine and is expected to continue to burn for many years to come.

Members of the public called 999 during the weekend after noticing smoke pouring out of the park grounds near the River Tyne in Newcastle.

The land was formally part of a colliery which was part of the Clara Vale Colliery that opened in 1896 and closed 70 years later in 1966.

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There have been no signs of the fire going out since being it was first detected. One burning mountain in Australia which was a seam, is thought to have been on fire for over 5,000 years after being set alight by lighting.

Excavations will need to take place for experts to gain an understanding of how long the fire will be alight. The footpath and surrounding area have been closed to the public as a precaution amid fears of land caving in and falling trees.

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As part of the excavation, grab hire will be used to remove the majority of the muck. It is thought the ground in the area consists of mostly clay. However, should ballast be found, grab hire will be used to transport and recycle the aggregate.

Underground fires can be ignited by natural causes like a lighting strike or a wildfire. Once started, they are very difficult to stop. Fires require fuel, oxygen and heat to burn, which means mines are ideal for them to keep alight for years.

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