A couple of years ago, I read the book Death Falls, a mystery that referenced Centralia, Pennsylvania, the town destroyed by underground coal fires. The book wasn't great, but I did a little research at the time and discovered more information about the catastrophe that started with a fire in 1962 in abandoned coal mines, forcing the evacuation of an entire town, and that has burning underground for over 50 years. According to experts, the fires will continue to burn for another 250 years.
This morning, I saw this article about Centralia and other towns that have suffered environmental disasters.
The other environmental disasters in the article are equally horrifying: Butte, Montana; Picher, OK; Three Mile Island; and Love Canal.