A misplaced fruit prompted the evacuation of around 500 students from a Melbourne university this weekend, BBC News reports. On Saturday, Melbourne’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade was called to RMIT University after a gas smell was reported in the library. As the library houses potentially dangerous chemicals, there were concerns of a gas leak.
The International Durian Cultural Tourism Festival in Bentong, Malaysia. Photo: AP
It was rotting fruit.
In a statement, the fire brigade said that a “comprehensive search” determined that the noxious fumes were actually coming from an “extremely pungent” durian, a Southeast Asian fruit with a notoriously powerful scent. Firefighters say they found the fruit rotting in a cupboard in the library.
The scent “moved around the building via the air conditioning system,” according to the fire brigade, not unlike Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible if he were made out of onions and gym socks.
The building was reopened within a few hours and authorities say Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority will now oversee the storage of the offending fruit. Was this an elaborate, Ocean’s Eleven-style move to get out of a written assessment? A Dark Knight-inspired, Joker-esque paean to chaos? No one seems to have publicly taken the blame for the Durian Gas Attack of 2018, and life continues on campus.
In researching its distinctive scent, scientists have detected 50 chemical compounds in durian that contribute to creating its infamous odour.