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Mysterious smell wafts over Taiwan harbor town of Kaohsiung

Smell came from over sea, but nature and origin unknown

A mysterious smell wafted over parts of Kaohsiung Saturday night.

A mysterious smell wafted over parts of Kaohsiung Saturday night. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Dozens of residents of Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s largest harbor city, called their government hotline Saturday evening to complain about an unbearable smell.

By Sunday morning, an investigation had still not found what exactly caused the smell, though it seems to have wafted in from over the sea.

Residents of the city’s Gushan and Yancheng districts started calling the 1999 hotline at about 10 p.m. Saturday, the Central News Agency reported. They complained about an unbearably unpleasant smell expanding across the area.

Kaohsiung’s environmental affairs and fire departments sent out crews to check on gas pipelines and other possible sources of leaks before also turning to the city’s wealth of major industrial complexes.

Tests of the air were also conducted, but as the smell had subsided by then, there were no precise data left to be analyzed, so by Sunday morning there was still no clarity about the precise nature and origin of the smell, CNA reported.

Virtually all the areas from where the more than 30 phone calls had originated, were situated close by the water, while the wind at the time was blowing in from the west, from over the sea, leading investigators to conclude that the cause must lie somewhere over the water.