Reports: Gas nauseates northern France — Smell hits England, South Kent residents warned to keep windows closed — Leak not yet stopped — Football match postponed

Published: January 22nd, 2013 at 3:54 pm ET


Deutsche Welle: Factory leak nauseates northern France — A gas leak smelling like rotten eggs has alarmed residents across northern France. Authorities said the vapor was harmless, though emergency phone lines were inundated with complaints of nausea and headaches.

BBC News: A Rouen resident told Reuters news agency the stench pervaded his home; “You can’t ventilate. There is nothing to do, it’s constantly in the room and it’s unbearable.” […] It is a “Seveso” site – a classification named after an industrial leak in Italy in 1976 and entailing a high degree of supervision. A senior executive at the factory, Pierre-Jean Payrouse, said stopping the leak could take until the evening.

AFP: Headaches, sore throats and nausea were nevertheless among the complaints listed in calls made overnight to emergency lines in Paris by more than 10,000 people worried by the stink that had invaded their streets and homes. One Paris suburban resident, who asked not to be named, said he and his wife smelt gas when they woke early Tuesday with searing headaches: “I opened the windows and then realised the same smell was outside.”

AFP: Despite the official insistence that there was no danger, French social media were awash with people in the affected regions complaining of headaches and nausea from the gas that smelled like rotten eggs. “They’re all saying not to panic, but they said the same thing about the cloud from Chernobyl,” said mother-of-four Patricia Cousteau, referring to radioactive fallout that spread across Europe in 1986 after an explosion at a Ukrainian nuclear plant.

Yahoo! Sports: A French Cup last-32 game between third-division side Rouen and Olympique Marseille has been postponed because of a gas leak in the Normandy city, the Ligue 1 club said on Tuesday.

AFP: French ‘rotten egg’ stench invades England […] “South Kent residents are being asked to keep doors and windows closed due to a gas cloud that is believed to have come across from France,” the fire and rescue service in the southeastern English region said.

Reuters:  London’s Metropolitan Police tweeted: “We are aware of reports of a strong, noxious, gas-like smell in some South East London boroughs. No risks to public.”

AP: The factory in the northern city of Rouen is owned by Lubrizol, a subsidiary of investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

Published: January 22nd, 2013 at 3:54 pm ET


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6 comments to Reports: Gas nauseates northern France — Smell hits England, South Kent residents warned to keep windows closed — Leak not yet stopped — Football match postponed

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    Hydrogen Sulfide?

  • the bbc radio has hardly mentioned this.. only to say that a gas plant 150 miles away from london, in france has released some gas.. little details (well done admin)
    the gieger counter is reading a little bit above normal and EURDEP radiation mapping was not allowing me to get gamma readings,,

    both catternom in france and budapest in hungary are having a release over the last 2 days.. i was able to use "tooltip" and assertained that the air is thick with beta and alpha around catternom and the larger release from hungary is ongoing..

    concerning the gas, i could smell it on and off throughout the day.. took me a while to realise that the gas run van i was driving was not leaking.. so the bbc report was helpful if not informative..

    "there is no threat to health! the london based radio said but did not mention that people in kent were asked to keep there windows closed.. and no mention of ANY health effects anywhere.. is this something to do with fracking? whats the cover up about? these gases will have an effect on the ecology around the release area as well as health impacts on animals and humans.. a very worrying sign that the bbc is playing it down.. and to think i used to believe what the blighters said.. once upon a time…!!

    "South East London boroughs"

    all over london actually.. i was north west and south west today..

    "vapor was harmless"

    • "Gas leaks are always a harmful event in the natural environment. Human beings and animals could die if they breathe in or ingest any gas from a leak. However, the effects of gas leaks on vegetation are unique. In some instances, maintenance workers and engineers look to vegetation to see if gas is leaking from a pipeline."

      though there is little impact according to this

      "If a natural gas leak occurs outside, the general well-being of plants and other animals will remain stable. That is because natural gas, at low levels in an open environment, will not damage your health dramatically, according to the National Library of Medicine. Plants also will not die immediately, because the vegetation will be able to absorb water, sunlight and carbon dioxide from the air. However, the plant will become affected over time if it consistently absorbs gas through its roots. The oxidation level of the ground is reduced, and bacterial life increases dramatically in the soil."

      Read more: The Effects of Gas Leaks on Vegetation |

      oddly enough the advice to close windows is probably the worst idea according to the second qoute as it will not allow the gases to move through the house and may trap them in..

      i read somewhere that in the event of a release like this the vegetaion near the plant will be effected (ref first qoute) but cant find that link..

  • while we are bashing the corporations about pollution here is a link

    French uranium mines in Africa and Europe -A health and safety nightmare for local communities!

    When the mines are shut down, the radioactive waste remains, and it seems that the costs for managing this radioactive legacy will have to be largely supported by the society, not the companies.
    If such a situation occurs in a so-called “developed country” one should fear what could actually happen in other parts of the world.

    gas, uranium… its all the same ..

    ONDON/BERLIN | Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:37pm GMT

    (Reuters) – France‘s Areva (AREVA.PA) and Japan’s Toshiba Corp (6502.T) are considering bids for nuclear fuel producer Urenco, but British, German and Dutch authorities disagree over what to do with the ultra-secret firm, industry sources said.

    Britain is keen to sell its 33 percent stake, and German utilities RWE (RWEG.DE) and E.ON (EONGn.DE) are talking to potential buyers over their combined 33 percent, but the Dutch government is not considering a sale.

    Analysts estimate that the Buckinghamshire, UK-based uranium enrichment firm is worth 2.5 billion to 3.6 billion euros, but some of the sellers are hoping for as much as 12 billion euros.

    Both Areva and Toshiba, which owns U.S. reactor vendor Westinghouse, declined to comment.



    and if i might admin support these fine uk based activists (yes they do exist)

    3 Weeks to Save the Lakes – No Nuke Dump! Weekends Demonstration and links

    saikado hantai


  • SophieQ

    There You go. In case anyone still doubts the executive powers of the nuclear industry.