What is that smell?

JPCT 22-01-13 S13040758X Horsham. Sophie holding nose. What's that smell -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 22-01-13 S13040758X Horsham. Sophie holding nose. What's that smell -photo by Steve Cobb

Sussex Police have received a number of calls from members of the public reporting a smell of gas.

Reports came in from East Sussex residents shortly after 7.30am and by 9.15am the force had been contacted by 25 people.

Residents around Sussex have since taken to social media to say they too are smelling gas in the air.

“We understand that this smell emanates from an accidental factory discharge in Rouen, more than 60 miles west of Paris,” said a Sussex Police spokesperson. “The smell is from an additive to the gas which has an unpleasant aroma but is not toxic and there is no danger to the public.”

A spokesperson for the National Grid said: “A high volumes of phone calls is currently being received regarding a ‘gas cloud’ which has been reported over the Kent and West Sussex areas this morning.

“The cause of this gas cloud is not known at the moment, although it’s suspected it could be caused by a gas leak in northern France.

“If anyone smells gas or has any concerns about gas safety they should call the National Gas Emergency Number on 0800 111 999.”

They advising people to keep their windows shut.

A statement from the Health Protection Agency read: “The smell drifting over Southern England today poses no risk to public health. The odour, which is similar to rotten eggs, has been noticed by people mainly in Kent, East and West Sussex and some parts of Surrey.

“It is caused by a particularly smelly chemical that is added to odourless natural gas to give that its characteristic smell.

“The chemical leaked from a factory in Rouen, France yesterday and has blown across the Channel overnight. It is not toxic and has also been diluted before entering the air over England, so people should be reassured it will cause no harm. It is an unpleasant odour which may cause some people to feel slightly nauseous but it will dispel naturally.”

Let us know where in Sussex you if you can smell it.

Tweet @wscountytimes @Crawley_Obby @midsussex_times @sussex_express depending where you are, email mark.dunford@sussexnewspapers.co.uk or visit each paper’s facebook page: Crawley Observer West Sussex County Times Mid Sussex Times Sussex Express and let us know where it is strongest