Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (AP) —The President of Turkmenistan is calling for the end of the burning natural gas crater, commonly referred to as the “Gate of Hell,” one of the most notable but hellish sights in the country.
Located about 260 kilometers (160 miles) north of the capital Ashgabat, the desert crater has been burning for decades and is a popular sight for a few tourists visiting Turkmenistan, a difficult country to enter.
Turkmenportal, a news site for Torkmen, said the 1971 gas drilling collapse created a crater about 60 meters (190 feet) in diameter and 20 meters (70 feet) deep. To prevent the spread of gas, geologists set it on fire in the hope that it would burn out in a few weeks.
The spectacular and unwelcome fires that have been burning since then are so famous that in 2019 state television showed that President Gurbanguly Berdimu Kamedov was sprinting around it on an off-road truck.
However, Berdimuhamedov ordered his government to find a way to put out the fire, as it causes ecological damage and affects the health of the people living in the area, the state newspaper Neitralny Turkmenistan said. Reported on Saturday.