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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
Jenny De Costa Jenny De Costa 9:52 pm 13 May 19

Frankie Pho your fav :)

Charlotte Carrabs Charlotte Carrabs 9:47 pm 13 May 19

Jess Whitby hehe another article

Missy Squidget Missy Squidget 9:43 pm 13 May 19

I thought this was Betoota when i first read this... Caeli Keating Lara Keating Janita Keating

    Janita Keating Janita Keating 8:53 am 14 May 19

    Missy Squidget 😂😂Caeli Keatinghad an interesting experience with durian

    Missy Squidget Missy Squidget 6:35 pm 14 May 19

    Was an evacuation required Caeli Keating??

    Caeli Keating Caeli Keating 10:01 pm 14 May 19

    Missy Squidget just about! Hot tip - don't have durian with alcohol or soft drinks as it does not end well

Tino Arbon Tino Arbon 9:43 pm 13 May 19

Mitiana Arbon 😂😲 what is it?

Capital Retro 9:12 pm 13 May 19

Who cut the cheese?

Ray Mun Koo Ray Mun Koo 9:12 pm 13 May 19

Johanna Kok - wasn’t me!!! 😂

Brigid Butt Brigid Butt 9:12 pm 13 May 19

Always told ‘tastes like heaven, smells like hell’

    John Hamers John Hamers 9:28 pm 13 May 19

    Brigid Butt it’s very true

    It’s actually not too bad to eat if you can get past the smell

Daniel Ciccarone Daniel Ciccarone 9:05 pm 13 May 19

goes up 50 people every article

Reuben Durham Reuben Durham 8:59 pm 13 May 19

Cat Farrugia so that’s why there were fire engines at the library on Friday!

George Retamales George Retamales 8:55 pm 13 May 19

Angie Torrealba this is what you were talking about the other day... and there you go.

Bill Jackson Bill Jackson 8:44 pm 13 May 19

Market lady in Singapore refused to sell spouse and me durian pancakes. Insisted we have mango instead. The mango pannies were awesome.

Donna Priol Donna Priol 8:41 pm 13 May 19

Durian is a wonderful fruit that should only be eaten outdoors by people who want to ‘remember’ the taste for days afterwards! Like ‘Sur stromming’ when I was in Sweden.... and I’ll never forget the time someone spilt a pack of asafoetida on the common room carpet at my residential college

Joyjii Kitr Joyjii Kitr 8:40 pm 13 May 19

Thanus Songprasart oh my god. Why does people even bring this to the library

Hanna Holder Hanna Holder 8:32 pm 13 May 19

Lizzie - the curse of the durian 🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢

    Lizzie Olive Lizzie Olive 8:35 pm 13 May 19

    Hanna Holder ohhh man - we have been there, done that 😂😂

    So funnny!!!!!!

    Hanna Holder Hanna Holder 8:37 pm 13 May 19

    at least it wasn’t in their mouth🤦‍♀️ oh the memories 😳

    Lizzie Olive Lizzie Olive 8:38 pm 13 May 19

    Hanna Holder still makes me laugh!!!

Rod Sloan Rod Sloan 8:32 pm 13 May 19

Lauren.....maybe you should just take apples instead?? 🤣🤣

    Lauren Morris Lauren Morris 8:35 pm 13 May 19

    I was innocently on my room listening to the evacuation alarm

Angela Lam Angela Lam 8:25 pm 13 May 19

Tam omg. Like that time in the hospital for your grandma

Faye Dela Torre Salcedo Faye Dela Torre Salcedo 8:24 pm 13 May 19

Durian!!!!!!!!!!!!!on the loose

Catherine Anne Catherine Anne 8:22 pm 13 May 19

I'm more surprised there were that many students in the library 😆😉✌

Mick Andrews Mick Andrews 8:14 pm 13 May 19

Jeez it must be potent 🤢

Marina Simoncini Marina Simoncini 8:10 pm 13 May 19

Lesa Gale didn’t you once offer me a durian lollie? 🤮

    Lesa Gale Lesa Gale 8:23 pm 13 May 19

    Marina Simoncini delicious 😋

    Wade Anthony Wade Anthony 8:56 pm 13 May 19

    Marina Simoncini delicious. Best eaten with gloves on balancing on plastic stools on the street in some asian country. My fav is KL on Jalan Alhor. Creamy.

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