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Smell of durian causes hundreds to evacuate from Canberra library

Smell of durian causes hundreds to evacuate from Canberra library

A closeup of an opened durian fruit. (Photo: AFP/Rahmad Suryadi)

CANBERRA: Hundreds of people were evacuated from a library in Australia's capital city on Friday (May 10) after the smell of durian sparked fears of a gas leak - the second such false alarm to be reported in Australia in a year.

Firefighters were called to the University of Canberra's library following reports of a strong smell of gas around 2.30pm (12.30pm, Singapore time), said the city's emergency services agency.

Around 550 people evacuated the building in under six minutes while the firefighters investigated the source of the smell. 

After an hour, the firefighters completed a search of the building and located the source of the smell. 

HAZMAT crews also conducted atmospheric monitoring to ensure the area was safe, said the agency. 

"The suspected gas leak turned out to be a part of a durian," said the University of Canberra Library in a Facebook post. 

"The offending fruit has now been removed," it added. 

The library said later that a durian had been left in one of their rubbish bins.

Last year, a rotting durian left at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) university campus library also caused about 500 students and teachers to be evacuated. 

Source: CNA/ad(hm)


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