September 5, 2013

    Photo: Syndey Morning Herald

Creek Turned to Concrete by Coal Company

Mining cleanup gone bad

An Australian creek has been flooded with concrete after a contractor error, the Newcastle Herald reports. The accident happened over three months ago, but the company involved and the local government have only now begun taking responsibility after the paper's report.

The problems began when mining company Xstrata sent in contracts with truckloads of grout to repair cracks and chasms it had created while mining for coal. As the grout was poured into the top of the cliff, it began gushing out another at the bottom. An estimated 200 tons, or 12 cement trucks worth, flowed into the creek, hardening into a 370-yard pathway.

A reporter for the Newcastle Herald described the situation: "Cascading down the hill like a miniature glacier, the set overflow looks pretty similar to a thick coating of marzipan on the forest floor."

The local government is looking into pursuing legal action and has required the mining company to restore the area. But some worry the project may be too complicated an undertaking.

“I have no idea how it can be cleaned up,” an unnamed worker involved in the restoration effort told the Newcastle Herald. “The problem is just too massive.”

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The Santa Fe National Forest     Photo: Artotem/Flickr

Search For Firefighter Enters Seventh Day

Missing in the Santa Fe National Forest

The search for a missing U.S. Forest Service firefighter has entered its seventh day. Token Adams, a 41-year-old engine crew captain disappeared Friday in the Santa Fe National Forest. Adams set out in his ATV to investigate a report of smoke and failed to return to a pre-arranged meeting point.

“He was very regimented in how he worked,” Forest Service spokeswoman Karen Takai told the Santa Fe New Mexican. “So for him not to call back every 15 minutes, they knew something was wrong.”

Since then, hundreds of people have been involved in the search. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Adams found a group of people whom he suspected of starting the 25-acre fire, raising the prospect of foul play. But forest service personnel did not confirm the report.

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