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Factory's 'rotten egg' stink wafts over Paris, northern France

Published on Jan 22, 2013 7:25 PM
 
A picture taken on Jan 22, 2013 shows the entrance of a Lubrizol factory in the Normandy city of Rouen after a gas leak at the chemical plant cast a strong odor that wafted from northern France as far as Paris. Authorities insisted that the gas, mercaptan, was harmless, but emergency lines were inundated with calls from people worried about the smell. -- PHOTO: AFP

ROUEN, France (AFP) - Millions of French fretted Tuesday - and some felt sick or got headaches - after a gas leak at a chemical plant cast a strong odour that wafted from northern France as far as Paris.

Authorities insisted that the gas, mercaptan, was harmless, but emergency lines were inundated with calls from people worried about the pong that came from a Lubrizol factory in the Normandy city of Rouen.

The company said Tuesday it should within hours be able to plug the leak that began a day earlier and whose odours were blown by winds as far as the streets of the capital, over 100km away.

Despite the official insistence that the leak was not dangerous, French social media were awash with people in the affected regions complaining of headaches and nausea from the gas that smelled like rotten eggs.

 
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