Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Stinky durian fruit grounds Indonesian passenger plane

Durian is highly popular in southeast Asia but very divisive Durian is highly popular in southeast Asia but very divisive
Russell Knight | 08 November, 2018, 11:47

Passengers booked on a Sriwijaya Air flight from Bengkulu province in Sumatra to Jakarta on Monday complained to staff after smelling the fruit and refused to get on the plane, repulsed by the pungent payload and concerned about the extra weight on board.

A reporter with Indonesia's Antara news agency, Boyke Ledy Watra, who was also on the plane told the Jakarta Post that "several passengers argued, occasionally nearly coming to blows, with flight crew members before deciding to leave the aircraft".

In April, the stench of rotting durian in a library at Melbourne's RMIT University led to a mass evacuation.

The flight, which was scheduled to take off at 10.40am was subsequently delayed by an hour while the fruit was removed.

But Zidane said that despite the complaints, the pilot had decided the fruit - the smell of which some find nauseating - would remain stored in the cabin during the flight.

Durian is considered a delicacy in many parts of Asia but it attracts a lot of negative attention thanks to its "raw sewage"-like smell".

That took nearly an hour and 2 tons were removed, but at the end of it, the plane took off from Bengkulu in Sumatra.

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"Durian is not classified as a hazardous material to be transported on a plane", Abdul said.

Food writer Richard Sterling has described its odor as "turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock".

Passenger Amir Zidane said, in a Facebook post, that he had flagged the issue with a member of the cabin crew.

"It's not illegal to carry durian in a flight as long as it is wrapped properly in accordance with flight regulations - carried inside the hold", their spokesperson said.

Staff finally unloaded the fruit and the plane took off an hour later, reaching Jakarta safely.

Eventually, they were all asked to leave the plane while the crew unloaded the durian. His Facebook post about the incident has been shard more than 20,000 times as of Wednesday afternoon.

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