Kawah Ijen 4# -
The story behind the photo:
Arsito, lives in Kebun dadap village, gets serious eyes irritation. An emission of fumarole gases which contain toxic elements are harmful to eyes, it is stronger than tear gas.
There is a volcano, south of the island of Java, called Ijen. During the 1960’s the first miners installed metal tubes into its crater to extract the sulphur. Having reached the bottom of the crater, they fight the volcano with a metal lance to draw its blood; they break up large chunks of sulphur in extreme conditions, with temperatures reaching 200 degrees centigrade, amid toxic fumes. The sulphuric gasses burn their lungs, skin and eyes. You can hear them coughing, staggering in the toxic cloud. They work with no kind of protection: the luckiest wear rubber boots, but most only sandals, they hold a wet rag over their mouth in order to breathe among the toxic gas, for the little protection a rag can offer. “We work in hell” say the miners “our eyes and lungs burn all day long, but there is nothing we can do, without this job we cannot afford food, we cannot support our families, we cannot send our children to school. We do this job because we don’t want our children to have to do it too one day.”
From the story "Kawah Ijen - Inferno" Indonesia 2009
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