Stink of rotting fruit causes gas leak scare at Australian university

Specialist fire crews called in to deal with smell at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

Durian fruit on sale at a market in Bangkok, Thailand. The pungent smell of the tropical fruit as it rotted caused a gas leak scare at an Australian university. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters.

Durian fruit on sale at a market in Bangkok, Thailand. The pungent smell of the tropical fruit as it rotted caused a gas leak scare at an Australian university. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters.

 

The pungent smell of the rotten fruit was mistaken for a gas leak at an Australian university and prompted an evacuation of staf and students.

Specialist crews wearing masks searched the library at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology campus on Saturday, but all they found was rotting durian fruit in a cupboard.

Durian is a tropical fruit known for its strong smell. It is commonly banned from hotel rooms and public transport across South East Asia.

About 600 staff and students had cleared the building.

“After an earlier evacuation that turned out to be a false alarm, New Academic Street and the library are now open. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to those on campus today,” the institute said in a Twitter post after the incident.

A Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokesman said the smell alarmed staff and students as it permeated the air-conditioning system. - PA