The Wal-Mart in east Saint John opened later than usual Sunday because of the smell of gas. (Associated Press)

A heavy smell of gas prevented the Wal-Mart in east Saint John from opening on time Sunday morning.

Employees entering the store at Westmorland Mall reported a strong odour in front of the building and called the fire department.

A crew from Enbridge, the gas company, was also at the scene investigating a possible leak.

Officials blamed the odour on a piece of equipment on the roof that malfunctioned. They said none of the gas pipes were leaking.

Shoppers were allowed into the store at about 1:40 p.m. once the problem was fixed.