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Gas leak causes strong odor in Paris and western France

A statue decorates the Alexandre III Bridge which crosses the River Seine near the Eiffel Tower in Paris January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Philippe
A statue decorates the Alexandre III Bridge which crosses the River Seine near the Eiffel Tower in Paris January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Philippe

PARIS (Reuters) - A gas leak at a factory in France left a strong odor over Paris and large areas in the western part of the country early on Tuesday, police said.

A police official told Reuters that a leak of mercaptan gas from a factory in Rouen, 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Paris, was responsible for the smell. He added there was no danger to the public.

A second police official in Paris said authorities were being flooded with calls from worried residents in the French capital.

A news website, Tendanceouest, said the leak was from a Lubrizol plant that makes oil additives. The website said the sulfur smell from the gas was causing migraines, irritations and nausea around Rouen.

Several Paris residents reported a very strong odor of diesel fuel.

(Reporting by Geert DeClercq; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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