Rotten fruit causes Melbourne university evacuation

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Firefighters donned protective breathing apparatus to investigate the source of the stench, taking severe precautions as the campus sometimes stored unsafe chemicals.

News reports said the evacuation was initially ordered after a gas leak was suspected. Concerned about the gas leak, they called the emergency services.

A durian caused more than 500 students and teachers to be evacuated from a university in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday.


In a statement, titled aptly as a "Rotten afternoon on campus", the Metropolitan Fire Brigade debunked the fears of the evacuated individuals.

Despite the pungent smell, many people rave about the fruit's taste and say the stink is a small thing to get past.

Even when it's ripe durian is considered the smelliest fruit in the world, leading to it being banned from places like planes and trains.


The library, known to store "potentially risky chemicals" according to the MFB (yeah, someone look into that please), was searched, and firefighters identified the smell not as chemical gas, but gas generated by the offending durian, described as "an extremely pungent fruit which had been left rotting in a cupboard". The Smithsonian magazine compared the smell to "turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock". It is used in numerous Southeast Asian recipes.

The Environment Protection Authority will oversee the removal and storage of the waste.


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