Indonesian plane grounded after passengers complain about stinky durian


Travelers aboard a Sriwajiya Air flight from Bengkulu, in Indonesia, to Jakarta complained of the odor prior to takeoff, insisting that the airline remove the spiky, smelly fruit - of which there was almost 4,500 pounds in the cargo hold - from the flight, per The Straits Times.

At one point, things got so heated that a brawl nearly ensued, according to Boyke Ledy Watra, a journalist with Indonesian news agency Antara who was among those on board.

A flight in Indonesia was delayed when passengers complained about the smell from a 2-ton shipment of durian, a notoriously pungent fruit. The problem was that the smell was so strong it had spread into the cabin, and it nearly led to physical fights between passengers and the flight attendants.

Eventually, all the passengers were asked to leave the plane as workers unloaded the reeking cargo.

The durian is known for being one of the grossest-smelling fruits in the world-think "turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock", as one food writer has described it, per Smithsonian.

A shipment of durian, sometimes referred to the "king of fruits", was removed from the plane after complaints.

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Sriwijaya spokeswoman Retri Maya said the durian had been properly loaded into the plane.

"The thorny durian is a delicacy in much of Asia but also controversial - you either love it or hate it", wrote the BBC.

"When I entered the plane, I could already smell the scent of durian", he said.

The standoff ended when boarded passengers began to get off the flight.

A passenger onboard the plane detailed the incident, which took place on Monday, in a Facebook post.

The company then went on to say that it was normal practice for Indonesian airlines to carry durian in the hold, "as long as [the durian] is packed well and enclosed in the cargo according to standard operating procedure". Passengers on the ground later recorded crews unloading the shipment of durian from the cargo area.