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Century-Old Fire in Coal Reserve Extinguished

October 19, 1995

BEIJING (AP) _ After a three-year effort, firefighters in far western China have put out a huge fire that burned for more than 100 years in an untapped coal deposit.

Their achievement saved 5.5 million tons of coal reserves in the Baiyanghe mine in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the official Wen Hui Daily newspaper reported Thursday.

Fires covering about one-fifth of the 12 square miles of reserves consumed about 300,000 tons of coal annually. The fires were ignited naturally when top layers of the coal reserves became exposed to air.

Using explosives, the firefighters bored holes and then poured water, sand and stone on the flames.

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