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Toxic Mystery Smog With Sulfur Smell Covers Moscow

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People in Moscow were almost “knocked out” by the grotesque smell of rotten eggs and gas that hung over the Russian capital for several hours on Monday.

The Emergencies Ministry confirmed that the source of the smell was a leak from a sulfur dioxide processing facility at an oil refinery in Moscow.

The city’s ecology watchdog and the Emergencies Ministry said that the level of hydrogen sulfide was over the permitted level for a short period of time, while the levels of sulfur dioxide remained within the norm. The two gases are byproducts of oil processing.

The smell created a wave of panic in local social media.

“Guys, who knows what the reason for such a stink in Moscow? There has been a smell of hydrogen-sulfide in many parts of the city,” wrote Twitter user Sergey Krasilnikov.

“The smell even travels through [closed] windows,” wrote Twitter user Asya Zateeva.

Residents of the southeast of Moscow saw the buildings covered in smog in the morning.

Many MP’s in the Russian parliament, whose building is situated right next to the Kremlin, also complained of the odor since Monday morning, but their work was not disrupted.

The Emergencies Ministry checked air samples in the southeast, east and center of Moscow following an avalanche of complaints from local residents.

A representative of the Russian Hydro-Meterological Service, which monitors environmental pollution, told Tass that the cloud first appeared in Moscow’s south-east Lublino region where the concentration of hydrogen sulfide has exceeded normal levels.


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