Chemical leak resulted in health concern

Published: Oct. 30, 2019 at 6:58 PM AKDT
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A chemical scent caused alarm as it wafted through Fairbanks on Wednesday morning.

In a statement released by Communications Director for the City of Fairbanks, Teal Soden, the Fairbanks Fire Department investigated a reported smell of natural gas in the Fairbanks area.

According to Soden, 'C & R Pipe and Steel, Incorporated' experienced a release of the chemical Mercaptan. Mercaptan is the odorant that is added to propane and natural gas to give off a smell for detection.

The odor lingered for several hours before dissipating. The statement went on to say that while Mercaptan can be flammable under the right circumstances, the Fire Department was confident that the amount released did not pose a fire hazard or public health concern.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Hazmat Team has been contacted and is aware of the situation.

Soden said this is not a very common incident, and that residents should know they should always call 911 if they suspect a gas leak.

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