The phones of the fire brigade and the emergency services in Paris collapsed this Sunday night. The reason is that hundreds of citizens were calling to warn of an intense sulfur smell in the environment, a “rotten egg aroma” that invaded the entire city and even reached places more than 50 kilometres away from the French capital.
Those same calls became messages from many Twitter users, who shared what they were experiencing in the first person on social networks. They all described the same smell, but none of them was able to figure out where it came from. A mystery that the Parisian authorities have not been able to uncover either.
The Paris firefighters acknowledged Le Parisien had received dozens of calls warning of the phenomenon, but could not explain the causes. Late at night, they published on their Twitter account that “it seems related to the bad weather last night because other departments make the same observation. Taking this into account, this smell does not correspond to any particular intervention that is now in progress”.
One of those responsible at the Paris city council, Emmanuel Grégoire, also used his Twitter account to respond to what was happening, after being asked by several residents of the city: “No fire or industrial incident has been reported. The sulfur smell could be related to heavy rainfall. It is being investigated.”
Grégoire himself added that the phenomenon “could be related to the mixing of sewage networks due to heavy rains, which cause decomposition gases,” although he pointed out that they should still confirm that hypothesis. Anyway, he explained that there was no reason for the alarm and that they would communicate any news as soon as it was known.
The Paris Police laboratory took several samples Sunday night and carried out investigations to try to identify the source of the odour, but the results of that investigation are not yet known.