On Saturday afternoon around 500 staff and students were evacuated by Victoria Police from a RMIT library due to a suspected gas leak. The real cause of the “hazardous” smell? A rotting durian fruit left in a cupboard.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade was called to the RMIT campus on La Trobe at about 3pm to investigate. There were fears that potentially dangerous chemicals, thought to be stored in the affected building, were to blame.

An investigation concluded the fruit’s odour travelled around the building through the air-conditioning system.

After the rotten fruit was removed by authorities the library was reopened at 6pm.

The South Asian fruit is known for its divisive, pungent smell. Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) railway system has even banned it from public transport.

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