Hundreds evacuated a college library, fearing a gas leak. It was a durian.

Add “cause for a university in Australia” to the long list of reasons that durian may be the world’s most maligned fruit.

Around 3 p.m. Saturday local time, Melbourne’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade sent out an alert about a chemical hazard at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

The smell of gas had been reported in a library on campus, the fire department said. A hazardous-materials team was dispatched to the scene to investigate “potentially dangerous chemicals” stored in the building. Amid fears of a , Victoria Police evacuated about 500 students and teachers from the library.

It’s tough to say whether the culprit was more or less frightening than what the alerts portended.

“After a comprehensive search, firefighters identified the smell was not chemical gas, but gas generated from rotting durian, an extremely pungent fruit which had been left rotting in a cupboard,” the Metropolitan Fire Brigade said in a statement titled “Rotten afternoon on campus,” just to drive home the point.



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