500 flee Melbourne varsity after durian stench mistaken for gas leak

Up to 600 people were evacuated from RMIT university after peculiar smell was detected on Saturday afternoon

Firefighters donned protective breathing apparatus to investigate the source of the stench, taking severe precautions as the campus sometimes stored risky chemicals.

"So perhaps it's no surprise that a rotting durian sparked fears of a major gas leak in a Melbourne library on Saturday, leading to the evacuation of hundreds", another user tweeted.

The officials released a statement, titled "Rotten afternoon on campus", explaining the rotten smell from a supposed "gas leak" was, in fact, a durian.

The culprit, however, was far less threatening, or was it?

An Australian university library was evacuated on Saturday over a suspected gas leak that turned out to be the smell of a rotting durian. The fire brigade sent out an alert about a chemical hazard.

Singaporean scientists past year mapped the genome of the fruit, describing its smell as "a mix of an onion-like sulfury aroma with notes of sweet fruitiness and savoury soup-seasoning".

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Despite the pungent smell, many people rave about the fruit's taste and say the stink is a small thing to get past.

File image of a vendor seeling the durian fruit. The Smithsonian magazine compared the smell to "turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock".

It is not known why the durian was left in a cupboard.

"It's like we opened up a dead chicken", said one man in the BuzzFeed video where a group of people tried the fruit for the first time. It is used in numerous Southeast Asian recipes.

Dramatically, the troublesome, rotten durian will be managed by the Environment Protection Authority.

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