Spill causes ‘raw onion’ odor in east San Diego County

Local

EL CAJON, Calif. — An odor described as smelling like “raw onion” turned out to be a non-toxic natural gas additive that spilled Wednesday in El Cajon, fire officials said.

Heartland Fire & Rescue reported the incident around 10 a.m., tweeting approximately one gallon of mercaptan was spilled at a waste management center in the 1000 block of Bradley Avenue.

Authorities said technicians were at the site working to clean it up.

“The odor will likely linger for several hours due to weather conditions (no wind),” Heartland Fire & Rescue added.

San Diego Gas & Electric confirmed the gas odor is not related to their equipment nor facilities, but the power company said it will continue to investigate calls for public safety.

Mercaptan is added as a safety measure to ensure that natural gas leaks do not go undetected, according to the University of Calgary. The organic gas can be found as a waste product in living organisms.

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