Durian odour causes panic; 600 evacuated from Australian library

MELBOURNE, Australia — The pungent smell of a rotting durian fruit in an Australian university library has been mistaken for a gas leak, prompting an evacuation of the building.

Specialist crews wearing masks searched the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology university campus library, but all they found was rotting durian in a cupboard.

About 600 staff and students had cleared the building.

A Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokesman said the smell alarmed staff and students as it permeated the air-conditioning system.

Durian is a tropical fruit known for its strong smell. It is commonly banned from hotel rooms and public transport across Southeast Asia.

Updated: 2018-05-28 — 06:20:29