Staff are currently working at the Lubrizol factory to block the foul odor, with France’s Ecology Minister, Delphine Batho, confirming that the smell possesses no health risk. She visited the building, which is located in the northern city of Rouen in Normandy, earlier in the day to check its status.
The smell has had thousands of people, from as far as Paris and London, complaining about headaches and nausea. This is because the gas is mercaptan, an additive to natural which is harmless.
The leak occurred on Monday, and winds helped to blow the cloud over northern France on Monday night and then into England on Tuesday.
Mrs Batho, who abandoned a trip to Berlin in order to check over the emergency operation, said of the leak on Tuesday, “I’m reassured.” However, she did also add that it might take several days to stop the gas dispersing, noting, “I prefer that we take our time rather than take risks.”
This disturbance has lead to Tuesday evening’s French Cup soccer match between Rouen and Marseille being postponed, with a local government official stating, “We did not want to find ourselves with 10,000 fans 2km from the factory and with no means of confining them or evacuating them if necessary.”
A resident of Rouen proclaimed about the smell, “You can’t ventilate. There is nothing to do, it’s constantly in the room and it’s unbearable.”