Stink from rotting fruit prompts evacuation at Australian university

Fire crews were called after a smell of gas was reported in a library

Stink from rotting fruit prompts evacuation at Australian university

File photo of a durian. Picture by: Alexandra Schuler/DPA/PA Images

A piece of rotting fruit has led to a university campus in Australia being evacuated.

It happened on Saturday afternoon at a RMIT University campus in Melbourne.

Firefighters were called to scene after a smell of gas was reported in a library.

Around 500 students and teachers were evacuated as a precaution.

According to Melbourne Fire Brigade, the building was known to house some potentially dangerous chemicals - prompting crews to begin an investigation to track down the source of the odour.

However, it emerged that chemical gas was not responsible, but rather the gas generated from a rotting piece of durian fruit that had been left in a cupboard.

Durian is a fruit that is particularly popular in southeast Asia.

Although well-liked by many for its rich flavour, the fruit is also known for its particularly pungent smell - which some have compared to rotten onions or turpentine.

In a statement about the university incident, Melbourne Fire Brigade said: "The smell had moved around the building via the air condioning system.

"The Environment Protection Authority will oversee the removal and storage of the waste."

The university itself tweeted to confirm the evacuation was the result of a false alarm: