Barcelona’s mysterious smell returns

City authorities increasingly puzzled over origins of foul stench that has invaded the city

Jordi Pueyo Busquets
One of the fields south of Barcelona that were recently fertilized.
One of the fields south of Barcelona that were recently fertilized.Cristóbal Castro

The mysterious stench that invaded Barcelona on Wednesday was back offending nostrils in the Catalan capital on Thursday.

After just a few hours of respite, several residents of Barcelona’s metropolitan area reported that the offensive odor had made a return yesterday. The neighborhoods of Sarrià, Marina del Port, Vila Olímpica, Sants and l’Eixample were affected, and reports also came in from the nearby municipalities of Hospitalet de Llobregat and Esplugues.

One person described the smell as like “really stinky feet”

Authorities had initially attributed the bad smell to farm fertilizer being used in an agricultural area south of Barcelona. A southerly wind that was blowing on Wednesday was partly blamed for spreading the fumes.

But technicians sent out to the fertilized fields have ruled them out as the source of this latest episode and city officials remain puzzled.

Local citizen safety authorities have sought to reassure concerned citizens that air quality is normal and the bad smell is not harmful to health.

Sources at City Hall told news agency EFE that the odor did not originate from the sewage system, waste plants or the port area, and did not seem to be coming from anywhere in the city at all.

Meanwhile, the social media were alight with comments once again, with one person describing the smell as “kind of like fertilizer or like really stinky feet.”

English version by Susana Urra.

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