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August 09 Edition Cover

Durian disaster

28 Oct 2012

Durian disaster Image

Who would have thought that a piece of fruit could cause the evacuation of a whole office floor?

That’s exactly what happened last month at an office building in NewQuay when an office worker decided to eat durian at his desk.

Durian is a tropical fruit, which is renowned for its strong smell

The fruit is very popular in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, but those who haven’t smelt it before often compare it with sewerage or gas.

Linda Sin owns and operates Ma’s Noodle Café, which sells packaged durian.  

Ms Sin said she always reminded customers who purchased the fruit not to open the package around other people due to the strong smell.

Last month she sold a package of durian to a customer and about an hour later noticed a crowd of office workers gathered outside.

The office worker had opened the package at his desk and the smell of the fruit had wafted into the air vents and spread into every office on the floor.

Other workers had panicked thinking there was a gas leak in the building and had raised the alarm, leading to the entire floor of 40 people being evacuated.

Luckily the source of the smell was located before the fire brigade was called.

After hearing about what had happened Ms Sin said she has decided not to sell durian anymore.

But that won’t stop her from enjoying the tropical fruit. “Personally, I love it,” she said.

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