‘Gas leak’ turns out to be smell from ship

A refugee in South Sudan

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A PUNGENT smell from a tanker sparked fears there could be a gas leak.

Southern Gas Networks (SGN) received hundreds of calls on Wednesday from people on Hayling Island who were worried there was a problem.

Extra engineers were brought in by the company who worked around the clock to try and trace the source of the stench – which could also be smelled in Portsmouth.

A spokeswoman for SGN said: ‘As the local provider of the national gas emergency service, we received a significant increase in the number of calls yesterday reporting a smell of gas outside in the Hayling Island area. We received around 230 calls from residents along the South Coast in connection with this throughout the day.

‘On an average day, we usually receive nearer five to 10 reports of this type. We believe the smell to have originated from a tanker in the Solent discharging an odour.

‘However, customer safety is our number one priority and we bought in extra resources from our other depots to help meet the additional demand on our service.

‘The smell has now dispersed and call volumes have returned to normal.’