Hell's Kitchen Steaming Over Sewage Stench

Hell's Kitchen steam
Hell's Kitchen steam

Talk about a situation that stinks (literally)! Residents in New York City's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood are fuming over a cloud of stinky steam rising from a grate on the corner of West 56th Street and Eighth Avenue.

DNAinfo reports that the smelly gas started seeping out Saturday outside of the Otarian restaurant. According to utilities company Consolidated Edison, the stench probably stemmed from a sewer problem -- but the city's Department of Environmental Protection, the body responsible for sewage issues, did not respond for comment.

Hell's Kitchen steam and Con Edison traffic cones
Hell's Kitchen steam and Con Edison traffic cones

Residents reported seeing an oily substance in the sewer underneath the grate (currently blocked off by Con Edison traffic cones, pictured at left). Even when the grate stopped steaming, the stench was still noticeable, neighbors complained.

"It smells like fecal matter," one resident told DNAinfo. "It is truly a rank, putrid odor."

A similar case happened in the NYC borough of the Bronx five years ago, when residents complained that similarly "putrid odors" emanating from two nearby sewage facilities were "ruining their lives." The smell was so bad it was as if someone was constantly "passing gas," angry neighbors said.

The Bronx residents successfully sued the privately-run New York Organic Fertilizer Co., which transformed city sewage into fertilizer pellets nearby and whose operation was responsible for the stench. (NYOFCo was forced to shut its factory down in 2010.)

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