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Mystery surrounds foul smell across city of Belfast

People complained of a fishy smell near Belfast city centre
Marie Louise McConville

Mystery last night surrounded the source of a foul smell across the city of Belfast early yesterday.

Northern Ireland Water said they were investigating reports of the stench, which prompted many people to take to social media to question what was causing it.

The strong fish smell was reported in various areas of the city centre including Wellington Place and Donegall Street however there were further reports around the Divis area, off the Falls Road in west Belfast.

While some put the smell down to food outlets, others claimed the smell might have been coming from local work sites where certain chemicals are used which smell like fish.

One social networker said she opened her front door and "nearly got knocked out" by the smell while another commented: "I swear I thought I was imagining it".

Others simply asked the question: "Can anyone explain the weird fish smell across the greater Belfast area today?"

Belfast city council confirmed its Environmental Health department had received a "few" calls about the smell and had referred it on to both Phoenix Gas and Northern Ireland Water.

A spokesman for NI Water said the reports are "being investigated and attended to as required, although it is currently not possible to say exactly what the cause of these odours are.

"NI Water is unaware of any issues affecting our waste water infrastructure in the city which would result in an incident of this nature. Every effort will be made to achieve a speedy resolution to this issue".

A spokeswoman from Phoenix Gas said the company "received and responded to four reports of a smell of gas via Belfast City Council on Wednesday 11th October within the BT1 and BT12 areas.

"Phoenix Natural Gas engineers conducted safety checks of the area, as per protocol, and found no traces of gas in these areas".

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