‘Non-toxic’ Normandy gas leak smelt in French capital


12:32 PM January 22nd, 2013

January 22nd, 2013 12:32 PM

ROUEN, France—A gas leak at a chemical plant in the Normandy city of Rouen could be smelt as far away as the French capital, over 100 kilometres (more than 60 miles) away, Tuesday but is “not toxic,” officials said.

A chemical substance at the Lubrizol company in Rouen became unstable causing gas odors that are similar to those of town gas, a statement issued by the Seine-Maritime prefecture said, adding: “The gas has an unpleasant smell but is not toxic.”

The concentration of the gas was also “very low” but the prefecture 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 odor” was ongoing in the early hours of Tuesday. “It is not dangerous,” he added.

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