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Rotten eggs stench reaches UK after French gas leak

Published on Jan 22, 2013 9:45 PM
 
A photo taken on Jan 22, 2013, shows a Lubrizol factory in the Normandy city of Rouen after a gas leak at the chemical plant cast a strong odour that wafted from northern France as far as Paris. The stench has wafted across the English Channel as far as London on Tuesday. -- PHOTO:  AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - A cloud of harmless gas smelling of sweat and rotten eggs leaked out of a chemicals factory in northwest France and wafted across the English Channel as far as London on Tuesday.

The leak occurred on Monday morning at a Lubrizol France plant near Rouen, 120km northwest of Paris, and winds blew the invisible gas cloud south over northern France on Monday night and then up into England on Tuesday.

The fire brigade in the county of Kent, southeast of London, warned residents to keep their doors and windows closed due to a gas cloud it believed had come from France and London police said it had reports of an acrid smell in southeast London.

Lubrizol France, which makes additives for industrial lubricants and paint, said the gas was mercaptan, also known as methanethiol, a colourless additive used in natural gas because its sulphurous smell enables gas leaks to be detected.

 
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