A million-liter aquarium in the lobby of the Radisson Blu in Berlin has broken, soaking the hotel and neighboring streets.
The “AquaDom,” which houses 1,500 tropical fish, stands 15.85 meters (52 feet) tall and is described as the world’s largest free-standing cylindrical aquarium.
Following the blast, two persons were hurt by falling glass.
According to police, there was “amazing” damage. An empty tank with water gushing into the hotel lobby was shown on video.
Following the incident around 05:50, guests were evacuated from the hotel (04:50 GMT).
According to a representative for Berlin’s fire department, the vast majority of the fish had died, and the chilly weather had made rescue efforts more difficult. The tank had previously held more than 100 different species.
However, firefighter James Klein later told local media that “several dozen” fish had been discovered alive in areas where leftover water had accumulated. He stated that they were being rehoused in different aquariums.
The Associated Press also reported that officials were seeking to save another 400-500 fish from smaller tanks beneath the hotel lobby that had been deprived of oxygen due to the accident.
A mass of rubble sat in front of the Radisson Blu’s front doors, which now hung into the street, bent at an angle by the force of the explosion tank.
Paul Maletzki and his girlfriend were staying on the fourth floor. He described being shaken awake by a loud bang. He noticed water streaming across the lobby when he looked down. Armed cops later removed them and other guests out of the hotel.
The Mayor of Berlin, Franziska Giffey, visited the hotel to inspect the damage and compared the tank rupture to a tsunami.
She expressed relief that it happened so early in the morning, claiming that an hour later, the lobby and street outside would have been crowded with people, many of whom were children.
Sandra Weeser, a member of the German federal parliament who had been staying at the hotel, told local news that she had been woken up by “a kind of shock wave” and described the scene outside the hotel as a “picture of desolation”.
She described seeing a “big parrotfish laying on the ground, dead” and added fish that could have been salvaged had frozen to death. The aquarium was renovated two years ago, and visitors can use a clear-walled lift built inside. Some of the hotel rooms are marketed as having views of it.
The Berlin fire department said more than 100 firemen were dispatched to the location, and it was unclear what caused the breach.
It claimed to have utilized rescue dogs to search the hotel for anyone who might have been hurt, but no one was located.
According to police, “huge amounts” of water were rushing onto surrounding streets, and drivers in the vicinity should exercise caution.
Why Did Berlin Aquarium Explode?
According to a police source, there is no proof that the break was the result of a targeted attack. However, it has been speculated that the frigid temperatures, which fell as low as -6C overnight, may have produced a break in the tank.
The Karl-Liebknecht street outside the hotel had been closed owing to “an extraordinary amount of water on the road,” according to Berlin’s public transportation authorities. Tram service in the region has also been suspended.
AquaDom debuted in December 2003 and holds the Guinness World Record for the largest cylindrical aquarium in the world. According to accounts at the time of construction, it cost approximately €12.8 million (£11.2 million).