Indonesian Plane Grounded as Passengers Refuse to Fly Because of Durian Fruit

Stinky fruit causes plane protest

A number of online commenters lauded the passengers' refusal to fly with such a large amount of durian on board, pointing to safety concerns in the wake of last week's Lion Air crash that killed 189 passengers and cabin crew.

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.

The cause of the bad stench was a huge supply of durian fruit which was travelling in the cargo hold on the Indonesian flight.

The airline said the fruit would not endanger the flight and the smell would go once the plane was in the air. "Even with the husk intact, the notorious Asian fruit has such a potent stench that it's banned on the Singapore Rapid Mass Transit".

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

A reporter with Indonesia's Antara news agency, Boyke Ledy Watra, who was also on the plane told the Jakarta Post that "several passengers argued, occasionally nearly coming to blows, with flight crew members before deciding to leave the aircraft".

"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 late Tuesday.

Following the complaints, the crew grounded removed the fruit and departed an hour later at roughly 11:40am Jakarta time (04:40 GMT).

Crew members assured him the smell would vanish as soon as the plane was in the air.

Realising he wasn't the only one unhappy, Amir Zidane rallied support, writing in his post: "I yelled at the other passengers 'Who on this plane wants to fly?'".

Zidane wrote that the passengers were allowed to leave the plane while the crew unloaded the sacks of durian from the plane. "Many airlines do this", Retri Maya, senior corporate communications manager for Sriwijaya Airlines told the Jakarta post in a press statement.



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