Foul odour stinks up France, UK

2013-01-22 20:26
The entrance of a Lubrizol factory in the Normandy city of Rouen after a gas leak at the chemical plant cast a strong odor. (Charly Triballeau, AFP)

The entrance of a Lubrizol factory in the Normandy city of Rouen after a gas leak at the chemical plant cast a strong odor. (Charly Triballeau, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - A foul-smelling cloud of gas escaped from a factory in northern France on Tuesday, making life unpleasant from the outskirts of Paris to Britain's shores and prompting scores of emergency calls.

France's Interior Ministry released a statement saying the gas escaping from the Rouen chemical factory is harmless. Among other uses, mercaptan is added to otherwise odorless municipal gas to alert people of leaks.

Winds carried the smell across hundreds of square miles.

Police in the coastal English town of Hastings reassured residents in a tweet with the hashtag "noneedtopanic" that mercaptan from Rouen was the likely cause of the odor. London police also said they'd received reports of a gas smell from several parts of the city.

The factory in the northern city of Rouen is owned by Lubrizol, a subsidiary of investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.

"Bearing in mind the lack of danger, residents of the areas concerned are asked not to call emergency services," the Interior Ministry said.

The local government posted a message on its website, asking people not to call emergency services and instead set up a hotline to answer questions about the smell.

Pierre-Jean Payrouse, the director of internal operations for the factory, said he hoped the leak would be stopped by this evening.

But not in time for a French Cup soccer game schedule for this evening; authorities postponed the Marseille-Rouen match.

Read more on:    warren buffett  |  france  |  health  |  environment

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy

Miley's new dog is too adorable.



13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher
The unusual pets of Instagram
Bertie sets a new world record!

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.