'Unprecedented' number of calls over mystery gas-like smell in Sunderland and South Shields

Engineers from Northern Gas Network are continuing to attend reports of a strong smell of gas following an ‘unprecedented volume’ of calls.

By Poppy Kennedy
Friday, 26 July, 2019, 16:20
As temperatures rose yesterday, hundreds of people raised concerns about a strong smell of gas

Hundreds of people have taken to social media to report a strong gas-like stench which swept across the North East on Thursday, July 25.

But mystery still surrounds what caused the smell which spread across the Tyne and Wear area throughout the day.

In the early hours of Friday, July 26, Northern Gas Network confirmed the smell was not gas-network related

The Environment Agency hasn’t received any calls regarding the odour and, at this stage, isn’t investigating.

Engineers from Northern Gas Networks are continuing to attend reports of a strong smell between the Tyne and Wear on Friday, following an increased number of calls on Thursday, 25th July.

Ian Waddle, Head of Operations Support for Northern Gas Networks, said:“We received an unprecedented volume of calls yesterday and continue to work our way through them today.

“This was a very significant amount and as a result, we’d like to apologise to any customers who may be experiencing delays.

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“We can confirm the smell is not gas network-related, however if anyone does smell gas they should call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999, and our engineers will be there as soon as possible.”

Staff at Sunderland City Council also reported the smell of gas in the city centre on Thursday.

A spokesman for the council said: “The City Council has been in contact with Northern Gas Networks after staff reported smelling gas in the city centre, Ryhope, and the north of the city.

“The council understands reports were being investigated.”

Gaynor Truby, 49, from Ryhope claimed that she could smell it in Ryhope and her daughter could also smell it in Silksworth: “When I took the dog out in the morning, I could smell gas but I couldn’t say where the smell was coming from. It was quite strong.

“It’s a bit worrying for your health really.”

Hundreds have taken to social media after they were also concerned about the smell throughout Thursday.