Residents of a quiet Newfoundland community in Canada are living in fear of a washed up dead whale which could explode and spray out blood and guts.

Trout River is bracing itself for the worst after a 60-ton blue whale died and was deposited by sea currents beside to the town's boardwalk.

A foul stench emitted by its decomposing remains is tormenting Trout River's 600 residents – and worse could yet be to come, it is feared.

Clerk Emily Butler, 26, said: "We have a concern ... because I'm not sure with the heat and gases that are trapped inside of this mammal if at some point in time it will explode."

The danger comes from methane gas which is created as the 26 metre (85ft) mammal's tissue continues to decompose. Knowledge about exploding whales is more commonplace than ever before thanks to videos such as the one below.

However, expert opinion reckons that such as spectacular scene is unlikely and that the creature's body will deflate – unless someone stabs its distended belly with a spike.

Jack Lawson of Canada's Fisheries Department said: "At some point, the skin of the animal will lose some of its integrity as all of the connective tissue starts to break down," Lawson said. "Eventually, that gas will seep out. ... It will just deflate like an old balloon."

The risk will come from somebody with a sharp blade who decides they want to cut a hole in the side to see what happens, or if someone is foolish enough to walk on it."

Residents of Trout River have sought assistance from the government in dispatching the monster carcass.