HUNDREDS of people have been evacuated from an Australian university over fears of a major gas leak which turned out to be the smell of rotting durian.
Firefighters and police rushed to the campus of RMIT in central Melbourne on Saturday afternoon, evacuating more than 500 staff and students, reported local newspaper The Age.
Causing alarm because it was in a building known to store potentially hazardous chemicals, the source of the smell was found to be from a durian which had been left in a cupboard to rot.
The stench had spread through the building via the air conditioning system, authorities said.
Known as the “king of fruits”, Southeast Asia’s most divisive fruit is banned from hotels and transport across the region.
Singaporean scientists last 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.”
Melbourne firefighters used special breathing apparatus to investigate and said that they had removed the offending durian three hours after it was first reported.
The Age reported that the Environmental Protection Agency will oversee storage of the waste.