Emergency personnel in Hazmat suits searched an Australian university only to find a ‘gas leak’ was caused by durians – here are 4 other times the king of fruits caused trouble with its smell

550 students had to be evacuated from the University of Canberra Library in Australia on Friday (May 10), after reports were made about a strong smell of gas.
Lianhe Zaobao

The king of fruits is both loved and hated by many, but the creamy Southeast Asian fruit has also proven to be a source of trouble on many occasions, thanks to its pungent smell.

Most recently, 550 students had to be evacuated from the University of Canberra Library in Australia on Friday (May 10), after reports were made about a strong smell of gas.

In a statement, The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Emergency Services Agency said that a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) team was sent to the campus to conduct atmospheric monitoring, while firefighters did a complete search of the building.

In a Facebook post, the University of Canberra Library revealed that the smell of gas had been traced to a durian that was dumped in one of the bins within the library.

While the story may sound ridiculous to durian lovers in Singapore and Malaysia who grew up loving its smell, this isn’t the first time the potent aroma of the durian has been the root cause of trouble.

1. Failed breathalyser test

Earlier this month, the king of fruits almost got a man into trouble with the law when he failed his breathalyser test after consuming durians in China’s Jiangsu province.

After the police conducted a blood test, it was revealed that the man had no trace of alcohol in his system and he was eventually released.

Further investigations by the police revealed that it was possible to record a positive reading of 36mg per 100ml of blood on a breathalyser test just after one had consumed durians.

The recorded reading was almost double China’s legal blood-alcohol concentration limit for driving of 20mg per 100ml of blood.

Read also: A man from China failed his breathalyser test – but it’s only because he consumed too much durian

2. An Indonesian flight carrying durians was grounded

A Sriwijaya Air flight bound for Jarkarta from Bengkulu was delayed for an hour in November 2018 after passengers made complaints about stacks of durians that was stored in the plane’s cargo hold.

According to BBC news, passengers demanded for the fruit to be removed and some even came close to fighting with cabin crew.

Eventually, the airline had to give in to the demands of the passengers and unloaded the durians from the cargo hold, BBC said.

Read also: Indonesian flight grounded after passengers revolt over sacks of stinky durian in cargo hold

3. Rotting fruit in university campus library 

About 600 staff and students were evacuated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology university campus library in April 2018, after the potent smell of a rotting durian fruit had been mistaken for a gas leak, AP news reported.

According to AP news, specialist crews wearing masks searched the campus library, but all they found was a rotting durian in a cupboard.

4. Hospital ‘gas leak’

In April 2014, the smell of a durian had sparked concerns of a gas leak in one of the hospital wards in Mitcham Private Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, ABC news reported.

According to ABC news, six patients were evacuated to a different area of the hospital.

Later, firefighters who were called to the scene traced the smell to a durian.

The hospital’s chief executive said that the fruit had probably been given to one of the patients as a gift, ABC news reported.

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