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Strong whiff of gas over Basingstoke believed to be from a chemical leak
A STRONG whiff of gas across Basingstoke is believed to be the result of a leak from a chemical factory in France.
A spokeswoman for the National Grid said the smell was likely to be down to the leak, but advised residents to still report the smell to their emergency line.
In a statement the National Grid said there has been up to 60,000 reports of gas from residents across the south east.
The smell is believed to have originated from a leak on Monday from an industrial lubricant factory in Rouen.
Southern Gas Networks said the smell was mercaptan, a colourless, sulphurous additive used in natural gas. It is not toxic and poses no danger to the public.
It has a distinctive diesel and oily smell, different from natural gas used in the home.
But the National Grid urged people to still report any gas smells.
It said: “It is important that we do not miss any genuine gas emergencies, so please call the National Gas Emergency Number 0800 111999 if you smell gas in your home. Please keep calling if you do not get through first time.”