Normandy gas leak smelt in French capital

2013-01-22 09:00
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Rouen - A gas leak at a chemical plant in the Normandy city of Rouen could be smelt as far away as the French capital, over 100km away, on Tuesday but is "not toxic", officials said.

A chemical substance at the Lubrizol company in Rouen became unstable causing gas odours that are similar to those of town gas (ie coal gas manufactured for domestic and industrial use), a statement issued by the Seine-Maritime office said, adding: "The gas has an unpleasant smell but is not toxic".

The concentration of the gas was also "very low" but the office admitted that "a large number of people have been inconvenienced".

The gas reached the Paris region in the early hours of Tuesday, causing concern. In the Seine-Maritime region around Rouen emergency services were bombarded with calls from alarmed citizens.

Seine-Maritime security official Laurent Mabire told AFP work to stop the leak of the gas "which gives town gas its odour" was ongoing in the early hours of Tuesday. "It is not dangerous," he added.

- SAPA
Read more on:    france
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