New Yorkers discover stink came from neighbour's swamp

dpa German Press Agency
Published: Tuesday January 9, 2007

New York- One day after a foul smell of rotten eggs caused widespread panic and talks of a terrorist attack in New York City, authorities said a swamp in New Jersey emitted the stinky odour, news reports said Tuesday. "That's where our noses and instruments tell us the smell originated," said Charles Sturcken, a spokesman for Department of Environmental Protection.

Sturcken was supported by Stephen Jones, a spokesman for New Jersey's office of emergency management, who said the swampy foul air drifted across the Hudson River into Manhattan Monday during morning rush hours.

The strong, unpleasant smell caused panic among residents in lower Manhattan, who called emergency telephone lines, triggering a chain reaction among authorities, who stopped some subway lines and halted traffic in some streets. Some buildings were evacuated.

But Mayor Michael Bloomberg immediately on Monday reassured the city of 8 million people that there was no danger and by mid-morning traffic resumed.

"The sensors do not show any high concentration of natural gas that would give us cause to be concerned," Bloomberg said.

"The one thing we are confident of is that it is not dangerous," the mayor said. "You could not ignite it."

By Monday evening, authorities suspected the smell came from New Jersey's swamp.

New York residents had a bad time.

"It was really, really bad, so bad it gave me a headache," said Kate Browne, who lives in the West Village, The New York Post quoted her as saying.

Alfred Stewart, 47, who lives in Chelsea, agreed.

"That smell was stinking. It smelled, like, toxic," he said. "If you stayed in it and held it enough, you probably would have gotten dizzy from it."

The Post said 12 people in the city were taken to hospitals because of breathing problems and seven people were hospitalized in northern New Jersey.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency