'Gateway to hell' found in Urumqi

'Gateway to hell' found in Urumqi

Could the entrance to hell be in Urumqi? A spectacular, fiery volcanic crater has been discovered in the western hills of Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, CCTV's Sina Weibo reported on Wednesday.

Burning away at a sizzling 792 degrees Celsius, steam rises from the incandescent, 150cm-wide crater, which has no visible bottom.

"The ash could be seen rising from the volcanic crater all the time since I came here three years ago," said a worker at a nearby construction site.

The strange sight, which was dubbed the 'Gateway to Hell' by local netizens, is in fact caused by the combustion of an underground coal bed, according to the report.

A warning sign has been placed around the crater to alert people to keep away.

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