French to blame for nasty pong

First published in News

A FOUL-SMELLING gas from a factory leak in France travelled all the way to Oxfordshire yesterday.

The smell came from a non-toxic chemical leak at a factory in Rouen that blew across the English Channel overnight.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) officials said the odour, which smells like rotten eggs, posed no risk to public health.

But emergency services across the South East received dozens of calls, including five to Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, about the smell.

Oxford resident Manuela Williams tweeted: “Anyone else reporting strong smell of gas in north Oxford area?”

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman said between 1pm, when the first call was made, and 4pm, the fire service received five calls.

An HPA spokesman said: “The smell drifting over Southern England today poses no risk to public health.

“It is not toxic and has also been diluted before entering the air over England, so people should be reassured it will cause no harm. It is an unpleasant odour which may cause some people to feel slightly nauseous, but it will dispel naturally.”

She said the Met Office believed the smell would have gone by the early hours of the morning.

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