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The Sriwijaya Air plane was delayed for an hour at Bengkulu, south west of Sumatra, when passengers complained of the fruit's overpowering smell.

A journalist with the local Antara news agency reported that several passengers began arguing with flight attendants and nearly came to physical blows, said Australia's ABC news.

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

"The three tonnes [mentioned in the video] is the total weight of baggages and other cargo, and this includes the durian", Maya said in a statement.

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.

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

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He said he talked to an "officer" on the flight who told him that the plane was going to take off anyway.

"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. The problem is, videos circulating where a passenger taking the video accused carrying durian as a safety hazard.

The report described an improper checklist procedure that failed to indicate the retracted flaps and slats of the plane and lead to the unsuccessful take-off that took the lives of passengers, crew as well as people on the ground.

Eventually, they were all asked to leave the plane while the crew unloaded the durian.

Though delicious, durian is one of the most easily recognizable fruits in Asia because of its strong odor.

The airport in Bengkulu, meanwhile, is said to be rethinking how durian will be transported on future flights.