Twelve German postal workers received medical treatment and dozens more were evacuated due to an acrid package, which turned out to be a shipment of the notoriously smelly Durian fruit.
Police, fire and emergency services were called to a post office in the Bavarian city of Schweinfurt on Saturday after staff noticed the odor coming from a package.
“Due to the unknown content, it was initially unclear whether the suspicious package presented an increased risk,” said a statement from the Schweinfurt police department.
The entire building was evacuated, with about 60 employees forced to leave, before the package was carefully examined.
It turned out to contain four Thai Durian fruits, which had been shipped from Nuremberg.
The spicy fruit’s creamy flavor and texture have made it popular throughout Southeast Asia, but its infamous scent has earned it many detractors. Singapore has banned fruit from its subway system, and many hotels ban durians because of the smell, which some have compared to rotten onions, dead fish, or dirty socks.
“A total of 12 postal workers who complained of nausea had to be treated at the site,” police in Schweinfurt said, adding that six were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.
Six ambulances, five first response cars and two emergency vehicles attended the incident. Three fire departments also participated.
The fruit was finally delivered to its recipient, a 50-year-old Schweinfurt resident.
It is not the first time that Durian has caused panic. Last year, staff at the University of Canberra library were forced to evacuate the building due to a suspected gas leak, but a search revealed that the odor was caused by the fruit.
And in November 2018, a shipment of durian caused an Indonesian plane to temporarily land after passengers complained about the stench.
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