500 flee Melbourne varsity after durian stench mistaken for gas leak

The king of fruit caused panic Down Under. (Reuters pic)

PETALING JAYA: A durian caused more than 500 students and teachers to be evacuated from a university in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday.

News reports said the evacuation was initially ordered after a gas leak was suspected.

Firefighters were called to the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) university campus on Latrobe Street just after 3pm after a gas-like smell was reported in a library.

The fire brigade said the building stored potentially dangerous chemicals, triggering an investigation into the source of the smell.

A “comprehensive search” was carried out and the smell was discovered to have come from a durian left rotting in a cupboard.

The highly-priced king of fruit is known for its pungent smell.

Firefighters said the smell had moved through the building via the air-conditioning system.

The students were allowed back into the building three hours later.