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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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9:50 am 14 May 19

Lachlan Thompson ahahhhahahahahhaha

9:49 am 14 May 19

My favourite fruit I miss u

9:45 am 14 May 19

Hayden Schliebs this fruit

8:26 am 14 May 19

I have not tasted it but they say its very sweet completely opposite

To how it smells

6:57 am 14 May 19

going to have to get one now so I know what the fuss is about

6:35 am 14 May 19

Nadine Hopman inspo for dreak?

6:11 am 14 May 19

Durian fruit is not allowed on any Singapore Transport for good reason.

    2:16 pm 14 May 19

    Noticed it was also banned from my Holiday Inn accommodation in Phuket for same reasons :)

John Moulis 6:02 am 14 May 19

My memory of the UC (then CCAE) library as a student in the 1980s is that a Durian would have been welcome. There was certainly a lack of books there and most students spent their time reading the newspapers waiting to go back to their dorms to watch the Ray Martin Show..

1:28 am 14 May 19

Colum from my hometown 😆

12:26 am 14 May 19

Yes, we are in Thailand right now - it is a disgusting smell

11:45 pm 13 May 19

I remember them when I worked at woolies thawing out in the fridges talk about stink.

No wonder there are signs all over Singapore not to take them on to trains & in hotels.

11:06 pm 13 May 19

Eating durian is like eating the finest custard in a well-filled outback outhouse.

10:47 pm 13 May 19

I was walking past the IC library just as the firies were leaving. I joked to one of them about students burning books and he made some murmurings that it was all sorted. Words of a tax leak were spoken. There were many firies and at least 3 pumps. Building was empty - all very dramatic!!

Hilarious to think it was a Durian!

10:46 pm 13 May 19

Disgusting stuff!!

10:45 pm 13 May 19

Vick Ster reminds me of Singapore!

10:44 pm 13 May 19

Rachel Holdway Matthew Holdway Jac Craig - I don’t know how it could have even got into the country 😂😂😂😂

10:20 pm 13 May 19

Russell Tunks was dis u?

10:15 pm 13 May 19

Well done Lain.

10:14 pm 13 May 19

Well Chris are you accusing my mate Lain of doing such a Sinister thing?

If you are I’d agree with you!

10:13 pm 13 May 19

Nikhil Krishnagiri you know what to do bro😎

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