When the charmingly named Lubrizol factory sprung a gas leak, 75 miles west of Paris, a few days ago, there were a few Gallic shrugs and not much else. C'est la vie, our French friends thought. Until this morning. The rotten-egg stench of the gas, Mercaptan, had floated all the way across the English Channel. There, residents of Kent and London began to panic, and they called the Fire Brigade some two dozen times to report a gas leak.
Can you smell gas? It is likely to be the gas cloud from France. No risk to the public, but if you feel it’s an emergency dial 999.— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) January 22, 2013
Disappointingly, the announcement prompted practically no jokes about Gallic hygiene, or Camembert, even. Nor, it seems, has it kicked off a war of words between the two countries, such uneasy neighbors. Still, it's early. There have already been suggestions by the LFB to turn Twitter two-way, and allow it to be used as a conduit for emergency calls.
We've been called to 25 gas incidents since 10.30am. The rotten egg smell is coming from France but has no risk to public #zutalors— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) January 22, 2013