Fruit with odour of ‘onions in a gym sock’ sparks uni evacuation | World News


A university library evacuated over a suspected gas leak has reopened after hazardous material crews found out that a discarded piece of fruit was responsible for the unpleasant smell.

Firefighters in Australia were called to the University of Canberra on Friday after a “strong smell of gas” was reported – with hundreds of students leaving the building within minutes so a thorough search could take place.

After an hour, the source of the foul odour was discovered: a durian fruit which had been left in a bin near an air vent on the second floor.

The university's new Facebook profile picture
The university’s new Facebook profile picture

The durian was once known as the “king of fruits” and is loved for its sweet and savoury flavour – especially in China.

But the fruit has a reputation for its potent stench, with food writer Richard Sterling once claiming that its odour of “turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock” can be smelled from yards away.

The powerful pong has prompted hotels and public transport systems across Asia to ban durians altogether.

In a post on its Facebook page after the incident, the library wrote: “We are open! The lingering gas-like smell in the building is completely safe – someone left a durian fruit in one of our bins! Very sneaky!”

One student wrote on Facebook: “I’m so happy someone left it in the bin! Hahahah but yummm I LOVE DURIANSSSS.”

Another wrote: “Keep the seed, plant it and you might be able to export it to China…Durian is KING!!!”

The library also changed its Facebook profile picture to a sign that showed durians were prohibited – which, judging by posts from the students, could cause an even bigger stink.


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