Passengers create stink over pungent Indonesian planeload of durian

While some consider durian the ‘king of fruits,’ detractors consider its odor to be closer to sewage, stale vomit or damp socks. (AFP)
Updated 07 November 2018
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Passengers create stink over pungent Indonesian planeload of durian

  • Durian is highly popular in Southeast Asia but very divisive
  • ‘Durian is not classified as a hazardous material to be transported on a plane’

JAKARTA: A cargo of pungent durian fruit led an Indonesian plane to be delayed for an hour after passengers turned their noses up at the funky freight and refused to fly.
Durian is highly popular in Southeast Asia but very divisive. While some consider it the “king of fruits,” likening its creamy texture and intense aroma to blue cheese, detractors consider its odor to be closer to sewage, stale vomit or damp socks.
Passengers booked on a Sriwijaya Air flight from Bengkulu province in Sumatra to Jakarta on Monday complained to staff after smelling the fruit and refused to get on the plane — repulsed by the pungent payload and concerned about the extra weight on board.
The airline admitted it was carrying more than two tons of the whiffy wares but insisted they posed no danger to the flight, adding the smell would dissipate once the aircraft took off.
“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.
He blamed unusually hot weather for the stench.
“We made the necessary precautions, such as putting in pandan leaves and coffee powder to absorb the durian smell,” Rahim said.
Staff decided to unload the fruit after passengers who had boarded the flight decided to get off the plane, which took off an hour later and landed safely in Jakarta.
Bengkulu airport staff said they would review procedures regarding transport of durian to avoid passenger discomfort in the future.


‘Hunger Games’ prequel book and film planned

Updated 18 June 2019
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‘Hunger Games’ prequel book and film planned

  • The new book will revisit Panem 64 years before the events of the trilogy during a period known as the “Dark Days”
  • Movie studio Lionsgate said another film was already being planned

LOS ANGELES: A new “Hunger Games” novel set decades before the original best-selling trilogy will be published next year, its publisher said Monday, with plans for an accompanying film already under way.
The book will revisit the macabre post-apocalyptic world of Panem created by Suzanne Collins’ young adult novels, which were adapted into one of Hollywood’s biggest movie franchises starring Jennifer Lawrence.
The original books, which sold more than 100 million copies, told the story of Katniss Everdeen, a teenage heroine forced by the realm’s totalitarian leaders to participate in a reality TV-style fight to the death.
The new book will revisit Panem 64 years before the events of the trilogy during a period known as the “Dark Days,” in which the nation “struggles to get back to its feet” after a devastating war, Collins said.
Four films based on the trilogy of novels — the final book was split into two parts — turned Lawrence into an A-list movie star and grossed $2.97 billion worldwide.
Movie studio Lionsgate said another film was already being planned.
“As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published,” said Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.
“We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.”
Author Collins said the book would explore “the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival.”
The as-yet untitled book will be published on May 19, 2020.