About 600 people were evacuated from an Australian university’s library after students and faculty mistook the smell of a rotten durian fruit for a gas leak.
Students and staff inside the campus library at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology became worried when they got a whiff of a distinct smell on Saturday. A Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokesman said the smell filled the air-conditioning system.
Specialist crews wearing masks searched the library for the gas leak, but only found the rotting durian in the cupboard.
“After an earlier evacuation that turned out to be a false alarm, New Academic Street and the library are now open. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to those on campus today,” the university tweeted.
Durian is a tropical fruit known for its strong smell. It is commonly banned from hotel rooms and public transport across Southeast Asia. The Smithsonian magazine compared the smell to “turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock.”
Despite the pungent smell, many people rave about the fruit’s taste and say the stink is a small thing to get past.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.