Fairbanks odorant release leads to citizen ‘gas leak’ calls

October 31, 2019 GMT

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — An accidental release of smelly chemical caused multiple people to report a gas leak in downtown Fairbanks.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the chemical released Wednesday was mercaptan, a non-toxic odorant commonly added to propane and natural gas to give them a fragrance that can be detected.

There was no natural gas leak.

The owner of C&R Pipe and Steel Inc., Dennis Wilfer, says the chemical was mixed with water inside an unmarked cylinder that had been dropped off at his business for recycling.

As workers sorted the metal, mercaptan leaked out, releasing a foul odor that moved north into downtown Fairbanks.

City officials say the Fairbanks Fire Department responded to reports of a possible gas leak.

The city confirms there was no gas leak or fire hazard.


Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com