Mystery surrounds a gas smell in Ellesmere Port that prompted more than 100 calls to the National Grid hotline last night (Thursday, February 9) but left engineers scratching their heads.

Businesses at Cheshire Oaks and nearby householders, including from the Stanney Oaks estate, could smell what was thought at the time to be a gas leak from about 10pm.

But National Grid engineers, who received their last report about 5am this morning, could not find the source of the odour.

The smell was detected at Cheshire Oaks and neighbouring homes
The smell was detected at Cheshire Oaks and neighbouring homes

A spokesman for National Grid said: “We received a large number of calls last night from the Ellesmere Port area to the National Gas emergency service number. Our engineers investigated these reports, carried out our safety checks at every property and nearby, and no faults were found with the local gas mains network.”

The spokesman said the smell had now dispersed.

National Grid say such phenomenon can have a variety of causes – experience shows that historically, and nationally, it can be due to ships discharging waste at sea, the dumping of chemicals illegally, gas fired power stations venting, venting from AGIs (above ground installations), fuel spillages, sewage farms, the cleaning of shipping containers, as well as odorant release or spillage.

National Grid

There were rumours the leak may have come from Sainsbury’s at Cheshire Oaks but the retailer confirmed it does not have gas on site. Along with other stores, Sainsbury’s was aware of the smell, which was reported, although there was no disruption for customers as the issue arose as the supermarket was about to close at 10pm.

The Chronicle has reported the matter to Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Environment Agency who are both making their own enquiries.

Anyone who smells gas in their home should call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.