Stink all gone from Durban house

Forced to find alternate accommodation because of a "benzene-like" odour emanating from their toilet, a Wentworth, Durban, family have been given the all-clear to return home at the weekend.

Gerard Lynch, his wife and 11-month-old daughter had to leave their Tara Road home because the smell was too strong for them to breathe normally and over concerns for their baby's health.

A pungent smell had been detected which officials believed had been caused by a chemical leak in the area.

Three other families later came forward and also complained about the smell.

The Lynch family was moved to the Elangeni Hotel with the Engen refinery paying for the accommodation "as a humanitarian gesture".

City health officials said it was safe for the family to return home, although they were still monitoring the situation and the investigation into the cause of the leak would continue.

A health official, who did not want to be named, said a high hydrocarbon concentration had been found in samples taken in the area.

"Air and water samples were taken and we believe there was an illegal chemical discharge coming from the Fynnland area. The owner of the property - the man who Mr Lynch was renting his home from - had called in the fire department who flushed out the drains," the official said.

City health officials had checked the premises again on Monday and had found no trace of the odour.

The official added that investigations into those responsible for the leak would continue. He urged residents to phone the fire department at 031 361 0000 in the event of a leak.

Article by: Se-Anne Rall - www.iol.co.za