Aquadom: One of the world’s largest aquariums explodes in Berlin

key points
  • An aquarium has exploded in a Berlin leisure complex.
  • The AquaDom is one of the largest aquariums in the world and was home to around 1500 exotic fish.
  • Two people were injured by broken glass.
A huge Berlin aquarium that housed around 1,500 exotic fish has burst, spilling a million liters of water and debris onto a major road in the busy Mitte district, emergency services say.
About 100 emergency crews rushed to the site, a leisure complex that houses a Radisson hotel and a museum, as well as what Sea Life Berlin said was the world’s largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium at 14 meters height
“It was like an earthquake,” said Naz Masraff, who had been staying at the hotel.
Another hotel guest, Sandra Weeser, spoke of the chaos.

“The whole aquarium blew up and what’s left is total devastation. Lots of dead fish, debris,” he told Reuters.

A huge cylindrical aquarium in a hotel lobby

The AquaDom has the largest cylindrical tank in the world. Source: AP / Joerg Carstensen

Two people were injured by broken glass and emergency services asked about 350 guests at the hotel to pack their belongings and leave amid concerns there could be structural damage.

Buses were sent to provide shelter for hotel guests, police said, as temperatures outside Berlin in the morning hovered around 7C.
Radisson told members of its Radisson Rewards loyalty club in an email that the Radisson Collection Hotel Berlin was closed until further notice.
Search and rescue dogs searched the ground floor of the building, which was too full of debris for rescuers to access, but found no victims, the Berlin fire department said on Twitter.

A fire department spokesman told Reuters it was still unclear what had caused the explosion at the AquaDom aquarium.

Remains of an exploded aquarium on a street in Berlin

Debris from the incident spilled across the Sea Life entrance to the Radisson Hotel. Source: DPA / Alliance of the image

Sea Life Berlin said in a statement that its team was shocked by the incident and was trying to get more information from the owners of the AquaDom about what had caused the incident.

The company, which had offered glass elevator rides around the AquaDom aquarium, said it would also remain closed until further notice.
Neither firefighters nor police would comment on the fate of the fish although police said on Twitter that there had been “incredible marine damage”.
Emergency services closed a major road next to the complex leading from Alexanderplatz to the Brandenburg Gate due to the large volume of water that had flooded the building.

The aquarium was last renovated in 2020, according to the DomAquaree resort website.

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