Foul smelling cloud from France stinks up England (video)

 
By: Wayne Morin 

(Scroll down for video) A foul smelling cloud traveled from France all the way to England, stinking up several British cities, according to a statement by police in England.

It floated over northern France at the end of the night and arrived in southern England on the morning of Tuesday, causing residents to wake up from their sleep from the foul stench.

There were thousands of frantic calls to emergency services, from Normandy to Paris, with residents describing the smell of cooking gas or rotten eggs, but officials were quick to allay fears.

The cloud was one of a group of substances called mercaptans, but it is a largely harmless smelly chemical. The smell had escaped from a chemical plant near the northern city of Rouen.

"Given the absence of danger, the residents of the affected areas are encouraged not to call the emergency services." In a joint statement, the interior and ecology ministries noted that the chemical is dangerous only at concentrations 20,000 times that at which the nose detects.

Often described as a rotten cabbage smell, mercaptans are used in cooking gas, which is odorless, so that no leaks go undetected. They are present in feces and some cheeses, and can cause headaches and nausea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

These symptoms were described by a number of people in France on Tuesday. The stink cloud also crossed the English Channel and settled along the English seaside town of Hastings.