The giant aquarium at a Berlin hotel, the Aqua Dome, exploded unexpectedly early Friday – causing massive debris, nearly 264,000 gallons of water and more than a thousand tropical fish to gush across the lobby and into the street, police Other authorities said.
The 82-foot-tall AquaDom, a tourist attraction once touted as the world’s largest cylindrical tank, was home to about 1,500 tropical fish before the accident.
Authorities confirmed to the Associated Press that the explosion started shortly before 6 a.m. in Germany (12 a.m. ET). Parts of the building containing the AquaDom – which also contains a hotel and cafes – were damaged and two people were injured by broken glass, Police said on Twitter.
The AquaDom is located within the lobby of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Berlin in the Dom Aquarée complex, According to CBS.
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In a statement emailed to USA TODAY Friday, Union for real estate investmentThe company that owns AquaDom confirmed that the AguaDom was “totally destroyed”. The company added that the cause or causes of the explosion were “not yet clear.”
No evidence of harmful action was found, the police said.
Al-Ittihad Real Estate Investment Company said that two people were injured, a hotel employee and a guest. The company added that the hotel has been completely evacuated.
“We are horrified by the accident and wish the injured all the best and a speedy recovery,” said Al-Ittihad Real Estate Investment Company, adding that “a large part of the fish kept in the Aquadome” had died. “There are still smaller aquaria that haven’t been destroyed. Rescuers are currently working with the operator to try to save the fish from these aquaria.”
All 1,500 fish inside the AquaDom had died at the time of the explosion, according to the Berlin District Government Confirmed on Twitterindicating that a few fish can be rescued at the bottom of the tank.
Both Union Investment Real Estate and Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey to thank First responders who were at the scene.
According to the Associated Press, Givi said the explosion unleashed a “real tsunami”.
in Interview with reportersGivi pointed out that the timing of the accident could have been much worse – even if the explosion occurred only an hour later. She said the injuries were prevented because fewer people were on the streets earlier in the morning.
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In the tweets announcing the AquaDom explosion, a Berlin Fire Brigade And the Berlin police He said 100 emergency responders went to the scene in DomAquaree Complex. Other emergency efforts included submission hot buses For guests leaving the hotel and Post rescue dogs. The fire brigade said rescue dogs found no one in the building.
Photos of the building’s exterior show large debris.
“There are shards (of glass) everywhere. The furniture, everything is flooded,” Sandra Weisser, a German lawmaker who was staying at the hotel, told the Associated Press. “It looks like a war zone.”
The AquaDom is located 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 the maintenance of the AquaDom, the company notes. However, after Friday’s incident, Sea Life said its Berlin aquarium would be closed “until further notice.”
“Our teams at (Sea Life) have provided support to the teams at AquaDom, as our priority is the safety and well-being of all the people and animals involved,” said Marcel Clos, Regional Director at Merlin Entertainment, which owns Sea Life Berlin. in a statement on Friday.
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About 400 smaller fish that survived in other aquariums below the hotel lobby have been evacuated as of Friday afternoon, according to the Berlin Mitte district government. he said on Twitter. It was fish residence In the SeaLife building next door.
Contributing: The Associated Press.
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