A mysterious burning crack is releasing gases since two weeks in a small village named Columbe situated in the Ecuadorian Andes.
The steam started coming out of the earth about 15 days ago after a controlled burn of weeds.
A column of steam and gas continues to emanate from a mysterious crack that opened up in a hill near Columbe, in Chimborazo, Ecuador.
The area has been evacuated because it is still unknown if toxic gases are released by the unexplained underground emanation.
Investigations are ongoing. Soil and gas samples have been taken by technicians of the Geophysical Institute of the National Polytechnic School.
The strange phenomenon has most probably a volcanic origin as the burning crack and the gas emanations are located approximately 45 km from the Chimborazo volcano.
But officials try to rule out a volcanic origin saying the burning crack was created by the controlled burn.
According to them the underground remains incandescent and emanates gases since 2 weeks because the soil is full of organic matter, which is considered a good fuel.