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Odorous package of durian sends six to hospital in Germany, prompts evacuation of building

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, June 24, 2020  /  03:58 pm
Odorous package of durian sends six to hospital in Germany, prompts evacuation of building

Durian, which is highly popular in Southeast Asia, has a distinct odor along with a spiky outer layer. This has resulted in various durian bans in Southeast Asia. (AFP/Rahmad Suryadi)

The smell of a package at a post office in Schweinfurt, Germany, has resulted in the evacuation of the entire building, in which around 60 employees were forced to leave in order for the package to be examined by the police.

What was discovered in the package was not a dangerous chemical gas – it was durian.

CNN reported that police, firefighters and emergency services arrived at the scene. This is supported by a statement from the Schweinfurt police department, which reported that “due to the unknown content, it was initially unclear whether the suspect package posed a greater risk.”

The package, containing four Thai durians, was sent to a 50-year-old resident by a friend in Nuremberg.

Read also: A green reason to love the durian

The fruit, which is highly popular in Southeast Asia, has a distinct odor along with a spiky outer layer. This has resulted in various durian bans in Southeast Asia. Singapore, for instance, has prohibited the fruit from entering its subway system and many hotels have banned durian due to its infamous smell.

As reported by German broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk, a total of 12 postal workers complained of nausea and had to be taken care of on site, with six of them taken to the hospital as a precaution.

In total, six ambulances, five first responder cars and two emergency vehicles attended the incident. In the end, though, the fruit was ultimately delivered to its intended recipient.

This is hardly the first case of durian causing a commotion. In November 2018, a cargo of durian resulted in the delay of a Sriwijaya Air flight after passengers complained about the fruit’s distinct odor. In May 2019, staff at the University of Canberra library were forced to evacuate the building due to a suspect presence of chemical gas, although a search revealed that the odor was caused by the fruit. (cal/wng) 

 

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