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  1. ITV Report

Stinking fruit grounds Indonesian passenger plane

The durian fruit has an odour sometimes described as resembling raw sewage. Credit: AP

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.

The Sriwijaya Air flight, headed to Jakarta from Bengkulu province in Sumatra, was carrying more than two tonnes of the notorious Asian fruit.

A journalist with Indonesia's Antara news agency, who happened to be on the plane, reported that several passengers began arguing with flight attendants and almost came to physical blows.

A photo of the funky freight. Credit: Amir Zidane

The spiky fruit's flavor and creamy texture has made it popular throughout Southeast Asia, but its strong odor has gained it many detractors.

Singapore has banned the fruit in its subway and many hotels bars because of the potent stench.

Some regard its strong smell as pleasantly sweet, while others are repulsed by an odour sometimes described as resembling raw sewage.

The spiky fruit's flavor and creamy texture has made it popular throughout Southeast Asia. Credit: AP

Following the incident, Sriwajiya Air said the airline was within its rights to carry the fruit in cargo.

"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," the airline said.

"Many airlines do this."