Downtown Baltimore Smells Like Gas, But Officials Say it’s Not Dangerous

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Downtown Baltimore was smelling a little gassy on Sunday morning. Instead of being dangerous, however, the odor is designed for safety.

According to statements from the city’s Office of Emergency Management, the smell was caused by a safety additive. And, it’s not hazardous. Natural gas is odorless, so they add mercaptan to give that rotten egg smell to tell people that something isn’t right. BGE even accords the additive super hero (or, perhaps, Walt Whitman?) status as Captain Mercaptan.

Baltimore City Fire Department investigators found that workers were cleaning sludge from a tank on Russell Street, but did not add enough of another chemical to mask the mercaptan, CBS Baltimore reports.

As of 11 a.m., the odor was wafting north, but mostly dissipated.



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