Officials say foul smell in Indiana is nothing 'to be concerned - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Officials say foul smell in Indiana is nothing 'to be concerned about,' source remains a mystery

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It was not icy roads but a strong odor that people in Southern Indiana were complaining about on Monday morning. It was not icy roads but a strong odor that people in Southern Indiana were complaining about on Monday morning.

LEAVENWORTH, Ind. (WDRB) -- It was not icy roads but a strong odor that people in Southern Indiana were complaining about on Monday morning.

  Most people say it smelled like propane or natural gas but emergency officials don't think it's anything that hazardous.

"I smelled it this morning about seven o'clock when I went out," said Fred Hollen.

Fred and Bonnie Hollen live on Riddle Road in Leavenworth.

"It just, natural gas leak, is what it smelled like," Fred said.

After being hit with the smell of natural gas, Fred check their property.

"I looked at my tank around back to see if it had a leak in it, but it didn't," he explained.

The Hollens soon learned the odor was widespread. In fact, the WDRB Facebook page already has more than a hundred comments or questions about the smell from people in southern Indiana.

"We've had several concerned citizens over the smell of natural gas, some that are reporting propane gas," said Zack Berry, with The Leavenworth Fire Department.

Berry said they've responded to several gas leak calls since Monday morning.

"As far as the gas companies coming out and reading, they haven't found anything to be concerned about yet, it is just the smell," he said.

No one knows for sure what is producing the odor, however, there is some speculation.

Larry Allen is the Crawford County Emergency Management Director.

"Our most reasonable explanation is that it is the paper mill over in Hawesville, Kentucky," he said.

Allen believes the odor is coming from Domtar Paper.

"They have some odors over there from their process where they breakdown the wood into the product that they need to make paper," said Allen.

The smell is unpleasant, but the Hollens can live with it if it's just the paper mill.

"That's what the guy I work with said it was, it's the Hawesville paper mill," Bonnie said.

We contacted the paper mill in Hawesville, which is about 50 miles from Leavenworth. A company spokesperson said the plant did lose power in the last few weeks and sometimes that can lead to issues with odors being release, but he said it's nothing that would cause any environmental concerns.

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