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Onion, garlic odor triggers 250 emergency calls

A strong smell that triggered 250 emergency calls Sunday night in the west Phoenix area appeared to be due to propane being purged from a pipeline.

Fire investigators on Monday noted that a propane storage facility had been venting gas at the time of the calls over a two-hour period.

"It just blanketed the neighborhood," Debra Hill told AzCentral.com, sniffling as she spoke Sunday night and complaining of a headache, runny nose and burning sinuses and eyes.

Hill, who described the odor as similar to strong onions and garlic, said one neighbor left the area after becoming ill and vomiting.

"It's smells like a propane tanker collided with a truck filled with rotten eggs," posted one reader on AzCentral.com.

On AzCentral.com's Facebook page, one reader said she had vomited from the smell.

A fire department spokesman earlier told msnbc.com that city crews ruled out any gas leak or hazardous material from a landfill after checking the areas. No evacuations were ordered and no further calls were received after Sunday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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