The Darvaza gas crater in the central Asian country of Turkmenistan, commonly called the “Gates of Hell”, is to be extinguished by the orders of Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.
The crater was formed in the 1970s after the ground collapsed during a Soviet gas drilling expedition. Scientists reportedly lit the massive hole on fire to prevent the spread of natural gas, and it hasn’t stopped burning since.
Although a tourist attraction, Berdymuhkamedov wants to shut it down for adverse effects on the health of people living nearby, wasting valuable natural gas resources, and environmental damage.
According to state-run newspaper Neytralny Turkmenistan, the country’s deputy prime minister “was instructed to gather scientists, and if necessary, to attract foreign consultants and find a solution for extinguishing the fire”.
Natural gas is a primary source of the Asian country, and there are no new details or known deadlines for closing the crater or putting out the fire.