Experts have finally finds ways to extinguish a massive five-decade old fire in a giant natural gas crater, “Gateway to Hell” located in the Central Asian country, Turkmenistan.
President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said on state television briefing on Saturday that extinguish Darvaza gas crater in the middle of the vast Karakum desert.
Earlier in 2010, Berdymukhamedov also ordered experts to find a way to put out the flames that have been burning ever since a Soviet drilling operation went awry in 1971.
President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said that the man-made crater “negatively affects both the environment and the health of the people living nearby”.
“We are losing valuable natural resources for which we could get significant profits and use them for improving the well-being of our people,” he said in televised briefing.
Berdymukhamedov instructed officials to “find a solution to extinguish the fire”.
To prevent the dangerous fumes from spreading, the Soviets decided to burn off the gas by setting it on fire.
The resulting crater 70 metres (229 feet) wide and 20 metres (65 feet) deep is a popular tourist attraction in the ex-Soviet country.
In 2018, the president officially renamed it to the “Shining of Karakum” and previous attempts to extinguish it have been unsuccessful.