Originally written for Catalyst Magazine.
Approximately 500 staff and students were evacuated from RMIT’s city campus yesterday afternoon following a reported gas leak.
The fumes were first detected in level 4 of building 8 (the Swanston Library) just after 3pm on Saturday, April 29th.
Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and police crews were called to the scene.
Police and RMIT security evacuated the library and closed off New Academic Street as specialist Hazmat crews commenced work to identify the source and type of gas.
However, in a statement Saturday evening, the MFB claimed the gas was not chemical – rather, the ‘leak’ came from a rotting durian fruit, found in a cupboard.
The fruit’s stench made its way across the building through the air conditioning system.
The building and surrounding areas have since been reopened.
Never leave your durians unattended.