Officials squabble as underground fire burns near radioactive waste dump in St. Louis area | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Officials squabble as underground fire burns near radioactive waste dump in St. Louis area

A fire is smoldering beneath a landfill in a densely populated suburb of St. Louis — and it has been there for five years.

Underground landfill fires, or "smoldering events" as some officials call them, aren't rare. What makes the fire at the landfill in Bridgeton, Mo., so unusual is that it's less than a quarter of a mile from a large deposit of nuclear waste — with no barrier in its way.

The radioactive legacy of St. Louis' role in the World War II atomic weapons program has unleashed Cold War-style nuclear paranoia in the area, as some residents debate what kind of gas masks to buy or whether to move away.

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Oh? And who do you suppose will buy your house?

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