PAULSBORO, N.J. (CBS) — The mystery of the strange, strong odor that overwhelmed parts of South Jersey on Wednesday afternoon has been solved. A hazmat situation was declared in Gloucester County after officials say a rotten egg smell was reported.
Gloucester County officials say the odor came from a tractor-trailer at a truck stop in East Greenwich. They say a trailer containing about 7,000 gallons of a chemical called Lubrizol was venting and causing the smell. It is not a natural gas leak.
Gloucester County hazmat and emergency operations were on the scene, as well as multiple fire departments. New Jersey environmental regulators also responded to assist.
The trailer company has a team on the way to offload the chemical from the trailer. It is contained and not toxic.
A Gloucester County spokesperson said in a release that technicians have tested the air quality of the immediate incident, and there’s no threat to the public. They will continue to test the air quality as well.
Eyewitness News spoke to a tanker driver, Barry Adams, who was right there when the incident started. He says he pulled up and the tanker next to him started gurgling and bubbling and he started seeing some smoke coming out.
“Parked next to the tanker that started spewing out fumes and smoke, vibrating. just kept hearing this loud, like an explosion, pressure blowing off, and I just knew it wasn’t right. When I got out and looked at it, it was just screaming. It would build up pressure, blow off and the fumes and smoke,” Adams said.
No injuries have been reported. County officials are asking residents to stay indoors if possible.
There’s no timetable for the smell to clear out.
Overnight, CBS3 got several calls from folks in South Philly, primarily near the Sports Complex, complaining they could smell something foul.
A call center has been opened by the Gloucester County Office of Emergency Management. You can reach them at 856-384-6800 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
CBS3’s Ross DiMattei contributed to this report.