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Posted: November 07, 2018

Oooh, that smell: Durians delay flight in Indonesia 

Durians are known for their pungent smell.
Durians are known for their pungent smell.

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Flight delays can stink, but they are worth the wait when smelly fruit is wafting through an airplane.

>> Read more trending news 

A cargo of durians, called the world’s stinkiest fruit, caused an Indonesian plane to be delayed for an hour Monday, The Straits Times reported.

Approximately 4,000 pounds of the pungent fruit was in the cargo hold of a Sriwijaya Air plane in Bengkulu that was scheduled to fly to Jakarta, the newspaper reported.

But oooh, that smell.

The flight was held up when passengers held their noses and refused to board the plane, the BBC reported. Some passengers nearly came to blows with crew members as they argued against getting into the aircraft, according to the Jakarta Post.

“The durian smell has been described as a mix of an onion-like sulfury aroma with notes of sweet fruitiness and savory soup-seasoning. A key component of the durian smell are volatile sulfur compounds, or VSCs, which have been characterized as decaying, onion-like, rotten eggs, sulfury and fried shallots,” geneticist Bin Tean Teh told Reuters in a 2017 interview.

"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 on Tuesday.

Rahim blamed the unusually hot weather in Indonesia for the offensive aroma.

"We made the necessary precautions, such as putting in pandan leaves and coffee powder to absorb the durian smell," Rahim said.

Airline officials decided to unload the fruit, and the plane took off for Jakarta an hour later, the BBC reported.


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