550 people had to be evacuated from a university library after someone left foul-smelling durian fruit near an air vent
- The University of Canberra, Australia, evacuated its library last week after reports of a gas leak.
- However, fire and rescue teams soon found that the source of the smell was a notoriously pungent durian fruit, which had been left in a bin near an air vent.
- Around 550 people evacuated the college's library in under six minutes, according to the library's Facebook page.
- Durian is considered a delicacy in some parts of Southeast Asia, though it is often banned from public spaces because of its foul smell.
- It's not the first time the fruit has caused the evacuation of an Australian college library.
- Visit Business Insider South Africa for more stories.
"Your breath will smell as if you'd been French-kissing your dead grandmother."
That's how the late chef Anthony Bourdain chose to describe the durian - a spiky fruit that's considered a delicacy in various Asian countries.
Stale vomit, an open sewer, and gym socks are all comparisons that have been made with the notorious smell of durian, which caused an Australian college library to close last week.
Around 550 people evacuated the University of Canberra's library in under six minutes, its Facebook page said, after fire and rescue teams responded to reports of "a strong smell of gas" within the building.
However, the alleged gas leak turned out to be a reeking durian, which had been left in a bin near an air vent, the library said on Facebook.
"The lingering gas-like smell in the building is completely safe - someone left a durian fruit in one of our bins!"
It added: "It's not appropriate student conduct if they did it on purpose, and lack of common sense if they didn't."
In a statement, local emergency services said that HAZMAT crews had been called to conduct atmospheric monitoring on the area, and found it safe.
Playing up to the debacle, the library's Facebook page temporarily changed its profile picture to one of a sign banning durian fruit.
It's not uncommon to see similar signs in airports, public transport terminals, and hotels across Southeast Asia. Singapore's public transport system has banned the fruit entirely.
It's also not the first time the pungent fruit has caused havoc in public spaces.
Almost exactly the same thing happened in April last year when another Australian university library was evacuated due to a suspected gas leak, which turned out to be a rotting durian.
In November last year, the smell of durian fruit temporarily grounded a plane in Indonesia and almost led passengers to fight the crew.
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