Passengers create stink over pungent planeload of durian

Durian known as the world's worst-smelling fruit

SIOBHAN DOWNESDurian known as the world's worst-smelling fruit

An Indonesian plane was temporarily grounded after passengers complained about an overwhelming smell of durian in the cabin.

The fruit, which is sometimes referred to as the "king of fruits", has a creamy, stringy texture, but also a smell that Smithsonian magazine once compared to "turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock".

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

However the airline agreed to remove the fruit, and passengers disembarked while it was offloaded.

The durian fruit was then unloaded off the aircraft.

The late Anthony Bourdain reportedly described durian as "something you will either love or despise ..."

Durian's stench is so pungent it's banned from public transportation, hotels and even planes in certain countries.

The situation inside the cabin reportedly became so bad that passengers and crew nearly came "to blows", according to The Jakarta Post, citing a report from an Antara news reporter who was on the flight.

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The Sriwijaya Air flight departed for Jakarta at about 11.40 am, an hour later than scheduled.

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

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

"He said he finally turned to his fellow passengers asked: "(Who) on the plane wants to fly?"

"It's normal for every airline to carry durian during a flight as long as it is packaged properly and put inside the cargo hold in accordance with the standards and procedures", Kyodo News quoted Maya as saying in a statement.

Zidane wrote that the passengers were allowed to leave the plane while the crew unloaded the sacks of durian from the plane.

Claims made in the videos that the plane was carrying three tonnes of durian were dismissed on Tuesday by Retri Maya, senior corporate communications manager at Sriwijaya Air.

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