Passengers on Indonesian plane create stink over pungent planeload of durian

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"Three tonnes of durian offloaded from a Sriwijaya Air jet after pax complained of the smell".

Even with the thick spiky husk intact, the unnatural Asian fruit has such a fearsome, unrelenting stench that it's widely banned on most major airlines, mass transit systems and public places across Asia.

As they protested for the removal of what is considered by some a delicacy, and by others a cheese-smelling fruit, passengers reportedly referred to a 2005 crash of a Mandala Airlines plane in Medan, which killed 149 people.

Around two tons of durian had to be removed from the cargo hold of a plane in Indonesia after passengers complained about the stench.

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

"Durian is not classified as a hazardous material to be transported on a plane", Sriwijaya Air's Abdul Rahim stated in a television appearance, the Straits Times reported.

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But Zidane said that despite the complaints, the pilot had decided the fruit - the smell of which some find nauseating - would remain stored in the cabin during the flight.

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

"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", their spokesperson said.

However, he was unsatisfied with the answer and called his fellow passengers against flying in those conditions. "They all chanted back 'not us!'".

Responding to the incident, Pramintohadi Sukarno, acting director general for air transportation, said that "carrying durian, terasi (fermented shrimp paste), dried, salted fish and other stinky goods in a plane is not forbidden because they are not categorized as risky goods".

He added that other passengers started complaining and some even nearly "physically clashed with crew members".

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