Kicking up a stink – police, fire and gas engineers scrambled over stench

Police are appealing for information on the suspect
Police are appealing for information on the suspect

A PUNGENT whiff sparked chaos as terrified residents thought their homes might be in danger.

The mysterious smell eveloped Milton of Campsie and parts of Kirkintilloch, with locals fearing it was a gas leak.

There was a full-scale alert involving police, firefighters, Scottish Gas, Scottish Water, East Dunbartonshire Council and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

The smell – which was pungent from Wednesday evening into the following day – was later traced to fertiliser at a local farm.

One woman who lives in the Bellway estate, in Milton of Campsie, said: “I have never experienced anything like it. I was out walking my dog and was almost physically sick. My neighbours had to re-do their washing that had been hanging outside as the smell was sticking to the clothes.”

Another Milton of Campsie resident thought it was a chemical leak.

He said: “The smell was really foul. Some people phoned the gas board. They came out and were all over the village to try and find the cause of the smell. I also got in touch with the council and SEPA.”

The foul smell also spread to Kirkintilloch.

One resident said: “I was in the Eastside area and the smell was terrible. It was like gas and was very strong.”

Kenny Simpson, East Dunbartonshire Council’s head of housing and community services, said: “The council received a large volume of calls regarding a strong odour in and around Milton of Campsie. After a full investigation, in partnership with our colleagues at SEPA, Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, Scottish Gas and Scottish Water, we believe the smell resulted from fertiliser spreading at a local farm.

“We will continue to liaise with our partner agencies in monitoring the situation.”

Pamela Armstrong, from SEPA, said: “We believe the smell has been attributed to fertilising activity at a local farm site. At this time we have no reason to believe there has been a breach of environmental regulations, but we will continue to liaise with the local authority to assess whether any further action is required.”

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