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 mercaptan 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. The factory has been shut down, and environmental authorities are carrying out tests.
While authorities reassured residents no to worry, 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.Worse than what came ashore in 1066?