Passengers refuse to fly with stinking durian cargo

Stinky fruit causes plane protest

In April, 600 people were evacuated from the library of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology - and crews were dispatched to check for gas leaks - after a rotting durian was left inside a cupboard.

The passengers then disembarked the flight as they claimed that it would make flying unbearable.

Zidane wrote that when he complained to a flight attendant about the stink and the heat on the plane she handed him a piece of paper and told him to put his complaint in writing.

The airline eventually relented and unloaded sacks of the durian fruit.

The thorny durian is a delicacy in much of Asia but also controversial - you either love it or hate it.

It has often been compared to the smell of raw sewage or turpentine ("garnished with a gym sock", as per travel and food writer Richard Sterling), so you know that it's not something you'd like to have around in an enclosed space.

Its potent stench means it's banned from public transportation, hotels and even planes in certain countries.

The situation inside the cabin reportedly became so bad that passengers and crew nearly came "to blows", according to The Jakarta Post, citing a report from an Antara news reporter who was on the flight.

"Durian is not classified as a hazardous material to be transported on a plane", Sriwijaya Air official Abdul Rahim told national television station Kompas TV late Tuesday.

Realising he wasn't the only one unhappy, Amir Zidane rallied support, writing in his post: "I yelled at the other passengers 'Who on this plane wants to fly?'".

Footage uploaded to Facebook by a passenger showed that the airport crew eventually removed two tonnes of durian in the cargo hold.

Despite its decision to offload the fruit from the cargo, Sriwijaya Air senior corporate communications manager Retri Maya later released a statement justifying their decision by saying it was "not illegal" to carry durian fruit.

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