Fantastic Caverns vent holes to keep chemical from cave

Fantastic Caverns

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) _ A cancer-causing chemical that leaked from a closed industrial site near the Springfield airport is appearing in the Fantastic Caverns tourist stop.

The Springfield News-Leader reports Litton Systems used the chemical _ trichloroethylene (TCE) _ to remove grease from metal parts when it manufactured circuit boards near the airport beginning in the 1960s. The chemical has reached some water wells near the airport.

Russ Campbell, owner of Fantastic Caverns, says he’s concerned for the future of the cave and for people living in the area.

Fantastic Caverns has drilled three vent holes west of the cave to allow TCE vapors to escape before they reach the main parts of the cave. Fresh air will be pumped into three more holes to help move the contaminated air out of the cave.