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550 students evacuated from UC Library after smelly fruit mistaken for gas leak

Glynis Quinlan 13 May 2019 119

The potent stench of the durian fruit led to 550 students being evacuated from UC Library on Friday.

It’s been named one of the “most god-awful smells in the world” and it seems it can even be confused with a gas leak, with the smell of the durian fruit leading to 550 people being evacuated from the University of Canberra Library on Friday (May 10).

Firefighters evacuated students and staff from the building in under six minutes at about 2.30 pm on Friday afternoon following reports of a strong smell of gas.

They then investigated the source of the smell and found it came from an unexpected source – part of a durian fruit left in a bin near an air vent!

According to the ACT Emergency Services Agency, HAZMAT crews then conducted atmospheric monitoring to ensure the area was safe before people were allowed back into the building.

“Fortunately the suspected gas leak turned out to be a part of a durian – the offending fruit has now been removed,” UC Library wrote on their Facebook page, adding that the library was completely safe despite the “lingering gas-like smell”.

The library said the offending fruit was removed from the building in a sealed bag.

The evacuation of the library due to the rank smell of the durian fruit is starting to attract international media attention and, it seems, is the second time something like this has happened in Australia in a little over a year.

In April last year, more than 500 students were evacuated from RMIT’s library in Melbourne because of a gas smell that turned out to have originated from a rotting durian that had been left in a cupboard.

UC Library is intent on the problem not being repeated in Canberra and has now banned durian fruit from its premises, putting up a temporary Facebook profile photo to emphasize the decision.

Durian fruit has now been banned from UC Library, with this image used as the library’s temporary profile photo on Facebook.

While this may be disappointing for some students who took to social media to declare their love for the tropical fruit, a ban on durian fruit is certainly not uncommon.

“Tastes like heaven. Smells like hell! In Singapore they have ‘don’t eat durian’ on the train signs!” commented one student.

“Not healthy when eaten in big quantities- nor it seems if left out in a bin!” commented another student.

According to the Smithsonian Magazine, the notorious Asian fruit has such a potent stench that it’s banned on the Singapore Rapid Mass Transit.

The magazine’s food writer, Richard Sterling, once wrote that “its odour is best-described as…turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock”.

Science Alert agrees, listing the smell of the durian fruit as one of the “most god-awful smells in the world you should do your best to avoid”. In future, UC library will no doubt be doing its best to do exactly that.

Have you ever tried durian? Can you stand the smell? Let us know in the comments below.

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119 Responses to
550 students evacuated from UC Library after smelly fruit mistaken for gas leak
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9:15 pm 02 Jul 19

Clare Marie you’ll have to try some

10:21 pm 16 May 19

Kershia Stirling Amy Buczek Pip Ernsteins you guys game to try this at school??

Jack Lu has been quite eagering to let Kody brings one in. I have to put a stop to it. Honestly, I can't handle it myself.

    8:16 am 17 May 19

    Megan Jadee Frew says bring it on....

    8:17 am 17 May 19

    Hahaha honestly I’m ready! Hahaha the kids would love to see what it’s all about 😂😂😂

    9:47 am 17 May 19

    Amy Buczek game on. Will send one in sometimes nect week. Prepare for evacuation!!!!

    1:39 pm 17 May 19

    Judy Nguyen hahaha I’m kind of excited as I’ve never even seen one let alone smell or taste it 😂😂👌🏻👌🏻 well have to google how to cut it up though 😂 thanks Judy 💕

    1:50 pm 17 May 19

    Amy Buczek done deal

6:05 pm 16 May 19

Yep! The hazmat team was called into my ward in a major sydney hospital

3:18 pm 15 May 19

Jordan Darcy can you confirm this

2:46 pm 15 May 19

Thais do

11:18 pm 14 May 19

Nathan de Souza Chris Hill Durian strikes again

9:50 pm 14 May 19

Bernie. This is what I was talking about. Can I still bring it to work? ;p

9:30 pm 14 May 19

Surely a prank Glen Parker Emma Jones ?

8:44 pm 14 May 19

Kurt von Demleux Toby Nolan surely not 😂

8:34 pm 14 May 19

Andres Zamorano Luismi GT Alejo Mozo Alvaro Boente Muñoz no durian

8:13 pm 14 May 19

May Yin this is what you should do in the office

7:44 pm 14 May 19

Kuan McLoughlin Ciara Louise someone said it tastes like heaven, smells like hell hahahahaah

7:18 pm 14 May 19

Traecy Aston

You been getting your Durian fix ??

7:03 pm 14 May 19

Kayleigh Bartlett josh is making me try it

7:03 pm 14 May 19

Luke Soley i reckon there must of been one of these lying around in laggan the other day

Ian 6:52 pm 14 May 19

Accident or prank? I’d bet on the latter.

I had a durian flavoured ice cream in Laos earlier this year. I thought it tasted ok, but wouldn’t go out of my way to eat it again. At least it didn’t stink in that form.

4:09 pm 14 May 19

It is a very distinctive aroma. I’m surprised nobody searched for the fruit first...😳

3:54 pm 14 May 19

Tina, Suzie the stink fruit strikes again!

3:36 pm 14 May 19

Sara Mori library etiquette? 😆

2:20 pm 14 May 19

Carol-Anne Silk was this u

    2:29 pm 14 May 19

    Bree Vucas hahahahah no - this fruit is definitely not my fav, but swear it’s not as bad as people make it out to be 😂

    2:30 pm 14 May 19

    Carol-Anne Silk carol-ANNE. They thought there was a GAS LEAK

    2:31 pm 14 May 19

    Bree Vucas hahaha!!! It’s just really strong 😂 literally have you read the comments? When I was in Singapore there is no durian signs on all public transport 😂

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