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Purple haze baffles Swedish town

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19:40 CET+01:00
Photo: Lasse Hejdenberg/ hejdlosa.seA purple haze enveloped the town of Linköping in central Sweden on Thursday. All through the afternoon concerned citizens phoned police to report the colourful cloud and inquire as to its origin.

Tekniska Verken, the utility company from whose chimney the mysterious substance emerged, also had its switchboards jammed.

Meanwhile the purple smoke continue to pour forth and nobody was any the wiser.

News filtered through to The Local that the National Laboratory of Forensic Science was somehow involved. We asked if they knew what was burning in the Cathedral town.

A woman's voice started giggling on the other end of the line.

"Everybody wants to know that. All I can say is that it's security things, eh, material," said spokeswoman Eva-Marie Törnström.

Well, what sort of material?

"I can't tell. We give Tekniska Verken lots of different things to destroy," she added.

What could it be? Why was she giggling? Had the purple clouds formed purple rain?

It was the same story when we tried to get a response from Tekniska Verken.

"It's classified material. There was no smell or anything. There was nothing dangerous about it, it was just a weird colour," said spokeswoman Eva Ankarberg.

And then finally a breakthrough came in the form of a leak from the forensics people.

"It was narcotics. Tekniska Verken was destroying them for us," spokeswoman Sabine Rütten told newspaper Expressen.

She explains that the national forensics lab had wanted to keep the matter quiet. But they were given away by the afternoon's constant stream of visible psychedelia.

"The newspapers have written before about us destroying narcotics at Tekniska Verken but we don't want to spread it all over the place. It can cause security problems," said Rütten.

One thing's for sure, Jimi Hendrix would have loved it.

Photos: Lasse Hejdenberg/ hejdlosa.se

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