Officials: Gasoline-tainted groundwater caused mystery odor in P - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Officials: Gasoline-tainted groundwater caused mystery odor in Philadelphia homes

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Crews Battle Fire in Raleigh County

    Crews Battle Fire in Raleigh County

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-08-31 02:37:25 GMT
    A structure caught fire right outside of Colcord, Raleigh County Saturday evening.Dispatchers received the call for the fire just before 7 p.m. saying a building was on fire on Buck Lane.
    A structure caught fire right outside of Colcord, Raleigh County Saturday evening.Dispatchers received the call for the fire just before 7 p.m. saying a building was on fire on Buck Lane.
  • Calacino's in Beckley is home to Mountaineer football

    Calacino's in Beckley is home to Mountaineer football

    Calacino's in Beckley is home to Mountaineer football

    Saturday, August 30 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-08-30 21:40:42 GMT
    The Mountaineers have thousands of fans, but Calacino's in Beckley is one local business that relies on them to keep their doors open.Jerseys, and posters fill the walls and Calacino's owner, Jerry Zaferatos , said in college football you cant count anyone out."I wouldn't have this business if I listened to people saying, you don't have a chance," Zaferatos said.Dominique Calicino opened the business back in the early 1930's and the owner says that he doesn't know where they would be without ...
    The Mountaineers have thousands of fans, but Calacino's in Beckley is one local business that relies on them to keep their doors open.Jerseys, and posters fill the walls and Calacino's owner, Jerry Zaferatos , said in college football you cant count anyone out."I wouldn't have this business if I listened to people saying, you don't have a chance," Zaferatos said.Dominique Calicino opened the business back in the early 1930's and the owner says that he doesn't know where they would be without ...
  • One person injured after ATV accident in Fayette County

    One person injured after ATV accident in Fayette County

    Saturday, August 30 2014 4:37 AM EDT2014-08-30 08:37:47 GMT
    Emergency crews were called to the scene of a ATV accident, just before 10 pm Friday.According to Fayette County 911 the ATV was struck by a vehicle along the 1900 block of Rt 60 Anstead area of Fayette County.One person was transported by helicopter, to a local hospital for treatment, The extent of those injuries or what caused the accident is not yet known at this time.The Fayette County Sheriff Department is investigating.
    Emergency crews were called to the scene of a ATV accident, just before 10 pm Friday.According to Fayette County 911 the ATV was struck by a vehicle along the 1900 block of Rt 60 Anstead area of Fayette County.One person was transported by helicopter, to a local hospital for treatment, The extent of those injuries or what caused the accident is not yet known at this time.The Fayette County Sheriff Department is investigating.
SKIPPACK, Pa. (AP) -  Gasoline-tainted groundwater caused the mysterious smell that led to a voluntary evacuation of more than 150 homes in suburban Philadelphia, authorities said Monday.

The noxious odor primarily affected three townhouses in Skippack after contaminated water got into the sump pumps, officials said. Firefighters were flushing those pumps with fresh water and airing out the homes with fans on Monday evening.

"We're relieved and hopeful that what they're doing will fix it," said resident Kourtnay Loughin, who called 911 about the "very, very unpleasant" smell on Sunday evening.

Officials don't know how the gas got into the groundwater, but Fire Chief Haydn Marriott said residents' health was not in danger. He also noted the substance was found in a system with sealed pipes, creating little chance of contamination to the surrounding area's water supply.

Firefighters and environmental officials used sensors Sunday night to try to identify the problem. Residents of more than 150 townhouses were asked to leave after chemical odors were detected at several units.

Metered equipment originally indicated the presence of hydrogen cyanide, a poisonous gas, in the homes, but officials later said those readings were false positives. No signs of illness were reported.

By Monday morning, Marriott said authorities had determined sump pumps as the source of the smell, but could not identify its composition. As labs began analyzing samples, officials retested some houses and allowed owners to return after finding no danger.

Loughin's unit and the two next door registered high levels of the chemical odor.

"It's more of an annoyance than anything," Marriott said.

Readings in 25 other units Monday found "negligible" levels of chemicals, likely attributable to common household items, he said. The rest of the townhomes had no detectable chemical compounds.

Marriott said his department spoke to the water authority several times Sunday. "They assured us that there was no problem with the water, that they were going to take care of the testing on their end," he said.

Officials plan to monitor the affected homes in the coming days.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.