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  • Jharia, India contains the country’s richest coal fields.
  • The village is perpetually wreathed in suffocating smoke from an underground fire that has been burning 100 years.
  • The ever-spreading fire pit frequently consumes houses and blasting regularly shakes and damages buildings.
  • Whole families, including small children, eke out a meagre living stealing small baskets of coal to sell.
  • Residents suffer severe respiratory problems due to the high carbon monoxide levels.
  • Most families don’t want to relocate because the coal provides their only source of income.

 Jharia, India is like a hellish scene from a demonic horror movie: perpetually wreathed in suffocating smoke from an underground fire that has been burning for 100 years.

Jharia’s coal fields constitute the country’s richest reserves, but the people forced to live here remain steeped in poverty.

For many, pilfering and selling small baskets of coal from the quarry is the only opportunity to make a meagre living. Whole families, including small children, labour in dangerous and harmful conditions.

Living here is very risky: the ever-spreading pit of fire frequently consumes whole houses and blasting regularly shakes the whole village, damaging buildings and throwing plumes of coal dust into the air.

Residents suffer severe respiratory problems due to the high levels of carbon monoxide. Despite the danger, most families won’t relocate because selling coal is their only means of income.

Some residents have been relocated to a specially built township, but lack of jobs and underdeveloped infrastructure leave them homesick, and most wish they had never left their burning homeland.

Local activists believe these people were really relocated to free up more land for the government owned mining company. 

For an in depth look at how Jharia’s residents live and work in hellish surroundings, watch Inferno Village  on RTD Documentaries.