A mysterious gas-like odor that covered much of Manhattan, had residents flooding emergency call centers with worried queries and caused rail disruptions most likely emanated from New Jersey, a city environmental official said Tuesday.
Authorities have yet to identify the odor, though Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday there was no indication that the air was unsafe to breathe. Federal officials also quickly discounted the possibility of terrorism, allaying concerns in a city still grappling with the emotional toll of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
The likely culprit, however, is a neighbor that years ago earned an unenviable reputation for nose-wrinkling scents. The stench seems to have come from New Jersey, according to Charles Sturcken, a spokesman for the city Department of Environmental Protection, adding that the agency was confident that the odor emanated from the industrialized Hudson County waterfront.
"With the way we tracked the dispersion of the smell and the prevailing winds indicates that it came from New Jersey, somewhere near Secaucus," Sturcken told The Associated Press early Tuesday by telephone.