Working conditions inside the mine were appalling. The miners had to crawl around in the hot dark stopes on their knees, bent almost double, working in dreadful conditions gouging out the blue asbestos which was in very thin bands in the hard rock…working conditions in the mill were even more appalling than the mine. Milling was a dry process where the ore was ground down and the fibre then extracted. Conditions were so bad that the men needed flood lights to see through the dust at midday. The men worked in these clouds of asbestos dust for hours on end, when only one minute at such concentrations to blue asbestos fibres would have been enough to cause lung cancer or mesothelioma. [more inside]
Uneven Terrain is a series of short documentaries about urban exploration, about 10-15 minutes long each. There are six so far, about monumental ruins in New York, Centralia, the Pennsylvania town where an underground coalseam has been on fire since the 1960s, abandoned missile silos in the US and how they're being turned into homes, oil drilling in Los Angeles, the Teufelberg listening station and the abandoned bunkers under Tempelhof Airport in Berlin and pirate radio in London and on the old Redsand sea forts. Each short doc has a different presenter. All have accompanying photo galleries. [These are produced for the bootmaker Palladium, but it's pretty low-key]
Centralia, PA is a small town on top of rich, seemingly inexhaustible coal reserves in rural Pennsylvania. In May of 1962, an above ground fire ignited these underground coal mines, and the fires have burned ever since, for forty years straight. The towns population (and landscape) have been decimated. More info here.