There’s something fishy about this disaster in which an entire aquarium in Berlin, Germany burst open, killing about 1,500 fish of various species.
Located in the center of the Radisson Blu hotel, the 14-meter (roughly 46 feet) tall structure — the AquaDom — was the “largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium” in the world, according to Sea Life Berlin.
The explosion spilled an estimated 264,000 gallons of water and damaged plants, phone lines, and other nearby structures as the street became littered with debris and fish. Authorities said it was fortunate that the incident occurred around 5:45 a.m. local time (when most guests were not active near the area where the tank was located). Only two guests were reported to be mildly injured.
Witnesses took to social media to share a devastating firsthand look at the aftermath.
— Arndt Breitfeld (@ArndtBreitfeld) December 16, 2022
สภาพของ “AquaDom” อควาเรียมแนวตั้งกลางกรุงเบอร์ลิน ของ #เยอรมนี ที่เกิดระเบิด จนทำให้มวลน้ำ 1 ล้านลิตรทะลักออกมา มีรายงานคนบาดเจ็บจากเศษกระจกแตกอย่างน้อย 2 คน
อควาเรียมดังกล่าวสูง 14 ม. จัดแสดงปลากว่า 1,500 ชนิด ถือเป็นอควาเรียมแนวตั้งที่ใหญ่สุดในโลกpic.twitter.com/aR7pgflmRJ
— Walairak_PPTV (@walairak_ch) December 16, 2022
— Niklas Scheele (@niklas_scheele) December 16, 2022
“It’s a tragedy for the fish,” said Markus Kamrad, a Berlin Senate representative told New York Times. “We were lucky that it happened at a time that only two people were slightly injured. But it’s unfortunate, of course, that so many fish died.”
The damage and impact sustained from the AquaDom explosion were so powerful that it was originally thought to be an earthquake that seismographs in the area picked up on the forces.
Certain breeds of exotic fish survived by staying in a pool of water near the bottom of the tank while others had been stored in the basement of the building and were not impacted.
“Members of our leadership team are on site, and, together with the authorities, are looking into the cause of the incident,” the Radisson said in a statement. “We have immediately closed the hotel until further notice and are relocating guests.”
It is not yet clear what caused the explosion but authorities have said that at the current time, no foul play is suspected.