A smelly fruit caused the evacuation of a university and more than 500 students and teachers after its aroma was mistaken for gas. The epic stench at Melbourne’s RMIT library was caused by a rotten durian which had been left in a cupboard.
Almost 40 firefighters, including masked specialist crews, had searched the building for the source of the smell, which students had feared was a chemical leak. The durian is a south east Asian fruit known for its strong smell and firefighters said it moved through the building via the air conditioning system.
Melbourne’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade said the building contained potentially dangerous chemicals so it was understandable why students and staff were worried. Durians have a sweet and creamy texture and are seen as a delicacy in many tropical countries. However, the smell has been described ‘turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock’ by the Smithsonian magazine.