Foul-smelling gas prompts emergency calls

A foul-smelling cloud of gas which wafted over to parts of the south east from a chemical factory in France has prompted calls to emergency services.

The gas mercaptan was accidentally released from a factory in the northern city of Rouen travelled across the English Channel early this morning.

People in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and parts of London reported the unpleasant aroma but emergency services said the gas is harmless and presents no danger to the public.

Sussex Police said they had received more than 25 calls by 9.15am, neighbouring Surrey had 15 calls by 11.30am, and Kent Police reportedly had a large number of calls.

Mercaptan is added to municipal gas to alert people to gas leaks, among other uses.

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Smelly French gas cloud hits UK

A foul-smelling but harmless cloud of gas which has wafted over the south of the UK from a chemical factory in France has prompted calls to emergency services. The gas mercaptan was accidentally released from a factory in the northern city of Rouen.