About two gallons of a chemical generally added to natural gas as a safety feature to give it a distinctive odor spilled Thursday at a construction site in the Compton area, prompting people more than 20 miles away to complain about the pungent smell.
The Mercaptan spill was reported at 11:18 a.m. in the 200 block of East Alsina Street, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
A hazardous materials team was sent to handle the cleanup, and no injuries were reported, but the odor was reported by numerous residents as far as Orange County.
“We are smelling a strong natural gas smell here in Anaheim. There is no immediate threat to our city,” Anaheim officials wrote on Twitter.
“There is a large natural gas leak in Los Angeles County, and gas can currently be smelled in large areas of Southern California,” Anaheim Fire and Rescue wrote.
In Lakewood, city officials put out a statement assuring residents that Mercaptan, also known as methanethiol, “is a harmless but pungent smelling gas. It is added to natural gas to give it a strong smell that can be easily identified. While the gas is harmless, residents are urged to stay indoors if they can smell the odor.”
Hazmat units remained at the scene as of 5 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Leslie Lua.