THE DAY THE EARTH CAVED IN: An American Mining Tragedy. By Joan Quigley. Random House. 2007. Hardcover. 223 pages.
Before he began sinking into the ground, 12-year-old Todd Domboski noticed a wisp of smoke floating from the ground “like a smoldering match buried under damp leaves.”
In Centralia, Pennsylvania, where an abandoned coal mine had been burning beneath the town for 19 years, the book explains, tiny fissures often punched through the topsoil, trailing bands of sulfurous steam.