Giant aquarium in Berlin, the AquaDom, explodes; fish flood street
A giant aquarium at a Berlin hotel, the AquaDom, unexpectedly blew up early Friday, causing a massive amount of debris, nearly 264,000 gallons of water and more than a thousand tropical fish to spill across the lobby and onto the street. policeman and other authorities said.
The 82-foot-tall AquaDom, a tourist attraction previously described as the world’s largest cylindrical tank, was home to around 1,500 tropical fish before the incident.
Authorities confirmed to the Associated Press that the blast began shortly before 6 am in Germany (12 am ET). Parts of the building that houses the AquaDom, which also contains a hotel and cafeterias, were damaged and two people were injured by broken glass. said the police on Twitter.
The AquaDom is located inside the lobby of the Berlin Radisson Blu hotel in the Dom Aquarée complex, according to CBS.
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In an emailed statement to USA TODAY on Friday, Real Estate Investment Union, the company that owns the AquaDom, confirmed that the AguaDom was “completely destroyed.” The cause or reasons behind the outburst “are not yet clear,” the company added.
No evidence of a malicious act was found, said the police.
A hotel employee and a guest were the two people who were injured, Union Investment Real Estate said. The company added that the hotel has been completely evacuated.
“We are shocked by the accident and wish the injured the best and a speedy recovery,” Union Investment Real Estate said, adding that “a large proportion of the fish kept in the AquaDom” have died. “There are still smaller aquariums that were not destroyed. Rescue teams are currently working with the operator to try to save the fish in these aquariums.”
Almost all of the 1,500 fish inside the AquaDom at the time of the explosion were killed, according to the Berlin Mitte district government. confirmed on twitternoting that some fish at the bottom of the tank could be saved.
Both Union Investment Real Estate and Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey thanked first responders who were on the scene.
According to the Associated Press, Giffey said the blast triggered a “true tsunami.”
In an interview with journalistsGiffey noted that the timing of the incident could have been much worse, even if the blast occurred only an hour later. Injuries were avoided because there were fewer people on the streets so early in the morning, she said.
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In the tweets announcing the outbreak of AquaDom, the berlin fire brigade Y berlin police said 100 first responders rushed to the scene in the DomAquarée Complex. Other emergency efforts included providing heated buses for guests leaving the hotel and deployment of rescue dogs. Rescue dogs found no one in the building, the fire department said.
Photos of the exterior of the building show significant debris.
“There are shards (of glass) everywhere. The furniture, everything has been flooded with water,” Sandra Weeser, a German lawmaker staying at the hotel, told the Associated Press. “It looks a bit like a war zone.”
The AquaDom is in the same building as Sea Life Berlin, and visitors can tour both with the same ticket, but Sea Life does not own or participate in maintaining the AquaDom, the company notes. Still, after Friday’s incident, Sea Life said its Berlin aquarium would be closed “until further notice.”
“Our teams at (Sea Life) have offered support to the AquaDom teams as our priority is the safety and well-being of all the people and animals involved,” said Marcel Kloos, regional manager for Merlin Entertainments, which owns Sea Life. Berlin. in a statement on Friday.
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Around 400 smaller fish that survived in other aquariums located below the hotel lobby were evacuated on Friday afternoon, the Berlin Mitte district government reported. said on Twitter. the fish were relocated in the neighboring SeaLife building.
Collaboration: The Associated Press.