Police receive 'hundreds' of 911 calls about strange smell in Northwest Indiana

There was a strange smell hovering throughout Northwest Indiana over the weekend but officials said it was not dangerous.

On Sunday night, Portage Police said on social media that the 911 center had received "hundreds of calls within the past several minutes reporting a strange odor throughout the city."

The Porter County Emergency Management Agency said on Monday morning that due to severe weather conditions, BP's Whiting refinery had an "operational disruption that triggered unplanned flaring of gases from their facility." BP crews have been on-site working to address the situation and expect to have issue resolved  Monday.

The agency said there is no danger to the community and there has been no other evidence of releases or spills across Lake, LaPorte and Porter counties.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is investigating.


"Please refrain from reporting this situation to the 911 center so that lines may remain open for those experiencing active emergencies," Portage Police said. "We appreciate your cooperation."