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Criminal Probe Ordered Into Gush Dan 'Odor'

Minister Gilad Erdan has ordered an investigation to discover who introduced an acrid smell that alarmed residents of Israel's central coast
By Gabe Kahn
First Publish: 5/3/2012, 7:01 PM

Gilad Erdan
Gilad Erdan
Flash 90

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan told reporters he has ordered a criminal investigation into discovering who created the "nuisance odor" that pervaded Israel’s central coast on Thursday.

Minister Erdan said, "While the odor was merely troublesome in the concentrations released, the substances themselves were nonetheless potentially harmful to public health."

Erdan's ministry said late Thursday that it has yet to determine the source of the acrid smell that pervaded Israel's Gush Dan in Sharon regions throughout the morning.

Following tests, the ministry stated that there was no danger to residents and that “negligible” concentration of hazardous substances had been discovered in the air.

The pungent odor was described by the numerous people who complained to municipal officials, police, and media as being chlorine, bromide, insecticide, and similar “chemical” smells.

The IDF Home Front Command said late Thursday morning that it believed the smell emanated from gas drilling operations off the coast of Ashdod, but environmental experts note that natural gas is odorless until butyl mercaptan or thiophane is added as a safety precaution [giving natural gas the "rotten eggs" smell consumers associate it with -Ed].