Jan. 23 - A leaky chemical plant in France is stinking up southern England. Julie Noce reports.
Something stinks in southern England. And it's coming from France. (SOUNDBITE (English) UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN SAYING: "It just smelled like dirt to me, dirty, greasy smell, sort of sweaty." (SOUNDBITE (English) UNIDENTIFIED MEN SAYING: "Smelly trainers, yeah, it could be, yeah." SOUNDBITE (English) UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN SAYING: ".. my housemate thought it smelled like fish, it just didn't smell very nice, it was really like, mwah." The culprit... a chemical factory in France that sprung a leak sending a noxious, but harmless, cloud of gas into southern England. At first residents didn't know what it was. SOUNDBITE (English) KENT FIRE AND RESCUE AREA MANAGER, MARTIN ADAMS, SAYING: " It is actually a substance called mercaptan which is a stenching agent that is put into gas, normal domestic gas supplies that you receive in your home, to indicate that there may be a gas leak of some kind, so you can actually smell the gas." The French plant makes industrial lubricants and paint and said work is underway to contain the fumes , although the process could take hours or even days to complete.