The fire brigade turned out and advised the students to spend the night elsewhere, but eventually this proved not to be necessary. The odour was not caused by a gas leak, but rose up from the sewer, said the fire brigade’s public relations officer on Tuesday morning. A sewerage company was called and inhabitants were allowed back inside after a short while.
It often happens that gas odour is confused with other smells. It sometimes happens after work has been carried out on the pipes or because of subsidence or cracks in the pipes that sewage odour is released, which can smell like gas. Also, in September of last year a student building in Groningen was evacuated because of a smell which later appeared to come from nail polish remover. The fire brigade has no problem turning up for cases like this, said a public relations officer at the time to the Higher Education Press Agency. “We would rather turn up ten times for this kind of thing than to be too late once.”