City of Many Smells
"New York officials evacuated a number of buildings and shut down some trains after a mysterious gaslike odor was reported Monday.
A New York Police Department spokesman said an air quality test determined that the air is not hazardous, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said there is no indication terrorism was involved.
The city's Office of Emergency Management reported no injuries, and spokesman Jared Bernstein said early Monday afternoon that the number of calls into the office had dwindled since the smell was first reported Monday morning.
Authorities are investigating the source of the smell. Several buildings were evacuated, and the PATH commuter trains along the Sixth Avenue line were temporarily suspended. The odor had no effect on subway service in the city.
New York police initially said no gas leak was reported, but a spokesman for Mayor Jerramiah Healy in Jersey City, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River, said the odor was emanating from a leak near Manhattan's Greenwich Village.
Bloomberg later confirmed a "small gas leak" near Sixth Avenue and Bleecker Street but said the smell appears to be a natural gas additive. Natural gas has no smell, so an additive, mercaptan, is included to give it a detectable smell in the event of a leak.
However, Bloomberg said that he didn't believe the Manhattan gas leak could account for the smell being reported in New Jersey."