Hundreds Evacuate Melbourne Library Over ‘Gas Leak,’ Turns Out to Be Durian

Hundreds of students were forced to evacuate a school library in Australia after people mistook a rotting durian for a gas leak.  

Students reported a smell of gas inside a library in RMIT campus on Latrobe Street in Melbourne just after 3 p.m. on Saturday. Dozens of firefighters immediately arrived and assisted Victoria police in evacuating approximately 500 students and teachers from the library. The evacuation was reportedly done as a security precaution, since the building was known to contain potentially dangerous chemicals.

After securing the campus population, rescuers equipped with gas masks then investigated the source of the suspicious odor. The authorities eventually discovered that the pungent gassy smell was not actually a chemical gas leak. The firefighters reportedly found a rotting durian left in a cupboard.

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After the smell was identified as a non-threat, the library was reopened at around 6 p.m.

Durian, which is regarded as the “king of fruits” in SouthEast Asia, is known for its overpowering odor.

The air-conditioning system helped spread out the smell throughout the building, causing immediate alarm among the students and faculty, according to a statement released by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

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According to The Age, the removal and storage of the rotten durian will be handled by the Environment Protection Authority.

Featured Image via Flickr / The Wandering Angel (CC BY 2.0)

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