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Strong odor reported in El Cajon after spill

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Posted at 12:40 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 23:43:43-05

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) – A strong odor reported in an El Cajon neighborhood Wednesday was non-toxic and crews were at the scene working to clean up the area.

El Cajon Police confirmed there was an odor similar to raw onions or gas present in the 1000 block of W. Bradley Avenue just before 11 a.m.

ECPD said the city’s fire department investigated and learned a “local business is purging their tanks.” According to Heartland Fire & Rescue officials, a spill of “non-toxic natural gas additive” called Mercaptan was reported at the scene, leading to the odor that spread about one mile from the location.

Mercaptan is an odorant that gives natural gas its distinctive smell and makes it easier to detect a gas leak. No natural gas was released during the incident at the Waste Management facility.

Authorities advised the public that the spill and odor were not hazardous, but the smell was expected to possibly linger into the evening.