Due to a pungent suspect package, six German postal workers had to receive medical treatment and dozens more were evacuated. The said package turned out to be a shipment of the durian fruit, which is notorious for its awful smell.
Firefighters, police, and emergency services were all called to a post office in the Bavarian town of Schweinfurt on June 20 after the staff noticed a bad smell coming from a package, according to The Guardian.
A statement from the Schweinfurt police department explained that because of the unknown content, it was not clear whether the suspect package posed a greater risk.
Around 60 employees were asked to immediately evacuate the building before the responders examined the suspicious package.
After the investigation, the package contained four durian fruits and it was sent home by a 50-year-old resident of Schweinfurt who claimed that a friend in Nuremberg shipped it to him.
Durian is a spiky, round fruit that has a creamy texture and sweet flavor. It is very popular in Southeast Asia, but it is infamous all over the world for its odor. In fact, durian is prohibited in hotels, airplanes, and other enclosed areas.
The fruit is not allowed in the subway Singapore. Many critics of the fruit have compared their smell to dirty socks or rotten food.
According to the police, twelve people complained of nausea and had to be given first aid. Six people were immediately rushed to the hospital as part of their precaution. Two emergency cars, five first-responder cars, three fire departments, and six ambulances attended the incident. The fruit was delivered to its recipient.
According to Smithsonian Mag, there were numerous incidents that involved durian and its infamous smell. In 2019, the staff at the University of Canberra library were asked to evacuate the building because they thought there was a gas leak.
However, the first responders found out that the bad odor came from a durian fruit that was left near the library's air vent.
Also in 2019, Simple Flying reported that an Air Canada Rouge flight made an emergency landing after a bad smell made its way into the cabin. The bad odor was so strong that the crew members had to wear oxygen masks.
The flight 1566 was immediately diverted from its journey to Montreal from Vancouver. The flight returned to Montreal Airport, and that was when the investigators discovered that the foul odor came from a durian that was in the forward cargo compartment. The smell of the fruit made its way into the cabin during the flight.
In 2018, a plane from Indonesia was forced to halt its operations after the passengers complained of a foul odor, as reported by CNN. After investigations, it turns out that the bad smell came from a cargo of durian and it made its way into the cabin during the flight.
In 2014, according to ABC News, a hospital in Melbourne, Australia, was evacuated because they thought there was a gas leak. Firefighters were immediately called to Mitcham Private Hospital, but it turns out that the smell came from a durian fruit that was given to a patient as a gift.