Six German postal workers were taken to hospital and dozens more were evacuated due to the overpowering smell from a package of durian at their post office.
The package arrived in the Bavarian town of Schweinfurt. When staff were hit with the pungent odour coming from it, emergency services were called, with police and firefighters in attendance. In total, six ambulances, five first-responder cars and two emergency vehicles attended the scene. Three different fire departments were involved.
The entire staff of 60 employees was evacuated from the premises, while first-responders investigated the suspicious package. Six people were taken to hospital as a precaution.
"Due to the unknown content, it was initially unclear whether the suspect package posed a greater risk. A total of twelve postal workers who complained of nausea had to be taken care of on site," a statement from Schweinfurt police department explained.
When the packaged was examined, it turned out to contain four Thai durian fruits, which a 50-year-old resident of the town had sent home from a friend in Nuremberg. The smelly fruit was eventually dispatched to its intended recipient.
Durian is notoriously pungent, although the creamy, sweet fruit has many fans, particularly in Southeast Asia where it comes from. The durian is venerated as the national fruit in Singapore, however, it is so smelly that it is banned from public transport.
The fruit has caused a stir before. Last year, staff at the University of Canberra library had to evacuate the building due to a suspected gas leak, however, a search revealed the smell was in fact caused by the fruit. In November 2018, a cargo of durian fruit caused an Indonesian plane to be temporarily grounded after passengers complained its overpowering stench in the plane’s cabin.
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