Stinky durian fruit grounds Indonesian passenger plane

Durian is highly popular in southeast Asia but very divisive

Durian is highly popular in southeast Asia but very divisive

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.

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".

An Indonesian airliner was delayed for an hour after passengers complained of an overpowering stench released from a load of the notorious thorny fruit durian, according to reports. 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.

Passengers refused to fly with the shipment of fruit, leading the airline to delay the flight for an hour so the durian could be unloaded. Video footage filmed by a passenger shows the sacks being taken off the plane as travellers wait on the tarmac.

"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.

Amir Zidane uploaded the clip to Facebook after the incident which took place on Monday.

Crew allegedly told him that the smell would go away once the flight was in the air. Passengers on the ground later recorded crews unloading the shipment of durian from the cargo area.

"It's not illegal to carry durian in a flight as long as it is wrapped properly in accordance with flight regulations - carried inside the hold".

Durian fruit is considered a delicacy in many Asian countries but is famous for its strong smell.

Bengkulu airport staff said they would review procedures regarding transport of durian to avoid passenger discomfort in the future.

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