A GAS company has now confirmed it fixed “several routine gas escapes” on Canvey...but denied responsibility for the ongoing stench.

Families have raised serious fears about the powerful smell during the past ten days.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Cadent Gas, the firm responsible for gas mains on the island, claimed there was nothing unusual about repair jobs during the past week.

A spokesman said: “We attended several routine gas escapes in the area last week and all of these were made safe.

“If anyone thinks they can smell gas or suspects a gas escape they should call 0800 111 999.”

However, when asked whether these could be responsible for the strong smells reported the spokesman claimed the leaks were on a small scale and were unlikely to be the cause.

The Environment Agency confirmed it is “looking into the issue” last week while Calor Gas said complaints this week may be due to a stenching agent.

A spokesman for Calor Gas, based at Canvey Terminal, Thames Road, said: “We have just done a routine change of one of our mercaptan barrels.

“This is the stenching agent we use and is not the gas itself.

“This may leave a smell in the air for a short while, but it is not a gas release and is no cause for alarm.”

A source from Calor Gas told the Echo this stenching agent was used yesterday so could not be blamed for last week’s smell which the firm claimed was from a mains leak.

A spokesman from Calor Gas said: “There have been no leaks from the facility and the odour is not connected to this site.”

The statements come after residents expressed serious concerns over whether there had been a gas leak that could be dangerous and have ramifications on people’s health.

As a result of the stench, a class from Castle View School, Foksville Road, were evacuated temporarily last week as the caretaker took safety precautions.

Other residents raised concerns about the smell throughout the course of the last week and into this week.

The Environment Agency is due to report its findings once an investigation into the problem is concluded in due course.