Residents call firemen over ‘smelly Vienna’

A strange smell spreading across parts of Vienna yesterday led to many concerned residents calling out the fire brigade, only to be told it was just to do with the changing weather.

Residents call firemen over 'smelly Vienna'

Residents in different districts who called the fire services on Thursday morning were told that a change in weather coupled with a local refinery going through a spring clean had caused the smell.

The light winds and particularly warm weather yesterday, which reached around 20 degrees in Vienna, meant the stench spread far into the city.

It turned out the smell was coming from the OMV refinery in Schwechat, just south of Vienna, which is currently being cleaned.

A similar incident involving the refinery a few years ago had led to a full fire service operation being launched in Vienna to investigate a strange smell. This year, OMV had warned the fire service beforehand that the city might experience a stinky after-effect.

“Every five years we have to clean the refinery, suspend the product and check everything. The opening of the equipment causes a smell, which people might recognise from refuelling. Now the weather is particularly nice, which caused a cloud to form and head in the direction of the city,” explained OMV communications head Johannes Vetter to the ORF.

The refinery warned that the smell could continue for a few more days but both OMV and the fire service confirmed there are no health risk for residents.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


What’s on: Five things to do in Vienna this weekend

Vienna is full of events, places to visit and great new restaurants to try out. If you are overwhelmed with the possibilities or just wondering where you can find a cafe with a fireplace, here are some ideas.

What's on: Five things to do in Vienna this weekend

Haus der Musik

Austria and its capital Vienna are known for their connection to the world of music, from classical names to more recent rock, pop and hip hop creations. 

In Vienna, one of the best museums for all ages is the house of music, with information and many interactive experiences will teach you how sound is created and show you pieces from the city’s philharmonic. 

One of the highlights is the staircase between floors that acts as a piano allowing visitors to compose their music. 

You can find more information here.

Long night in the museum

Definitely one of the coolest events in any city. This weekend is the time to visit Viennese museums way after hours – the event is actually Austria-wide and you can check all participating institutions here.

On Saturday, the 1st of October, the “ORF Long Night of Museums” takes place. From 6 pm to 1 am, numerous museums open their doors and offer a diverse program for young and old. The regular tickets cost 15 euros, discounted tickets 12 euros and regionally limited tickets six euros. Admission is free for children up to the age of twelve.

You can find more information here.

Café Jelinek

As the weather gets colder and the weekend promises some rain, of course staying indoors is a good idea. Vienna is full of beautiful cafes to visit and enjoy, but Jelinek has a charm of its own.

The traditional coffee house not only has delicious food in a great environment, but visitors can also enjoy some warmth straight from the fireplace (no extremely high gas bills here!).

You can find more information here.

Vienna Comic Con 

This weekend, Austria’s capital is hosting the Vienna Comic Con. Comic fans can meet up and enjoy the event with some great guests. Besides famous comic artists, fantasy authors, and voice actors, there are cosplay guests and entertainment guests. One of them is Jack Gleeson, the actor who played Joeffrey in Game of Thrones. 

The comic con also has thrilling esports tournaments, free-to-play areas, and more. 

You can find more information here.

Visit a heuriger

Not ready to say goodbye to heuriger season just yet? There are many unique places still open and worth a visit before it gets too old outside. 

The classic suggestion is Heuriger Wieninger, in the 21st district. Besides the house wine, there’s a buffet with warm and cold dishes, all in the traditional ambiance of a heuriger. 

You can find more information here.

Do you know any other cool events happening in Vienna during the weekends? You can email us at [email protected] to share your tips and suggestions.