Massive Berlin aquarium bursts, spilling flood of 1,500 tropical fish
Two people lightly injured as collapse of one of city’s landmark tourist sites causes widespread destruction; police dogs looking for possible trapped victims
BERLIN — A huge aquarium in the center of Berlin burst Friday, causing a wave of devastation in and around the Sea Life tourist attraction, German police said Friday.
Glass and other debris were swept out of the building, which also contains a hotel and cafes, as 1 million liters of water poured out of the 25-meter (82-foot) -high aquarium shortly before 6:00 a.m. (0500GMT).
Berlin’s fire service said two people were lightly injured and rescue dogs were being prepared to search the building for anyone who might be trapped under debris.
There was speculation that freezing temperatures of minus 10 degrees Celsius (14 Fahrenheit) overnight had caused a crack in the tank, which then exploded under the weight of the water. Police said the cause of the incident was still being investigated but there was no evidence that it was the result of an attack.
Witness Gwendolin Szyszkowitz told German news channel n-tv that she heard a loud bang and initially feared a bomb had exploded.
Operators say the aquarium had the biggest cylindrical tank in the world and contained 1,500 tropical fish with 80 different species before the incident. The aquarium, which was last modernized in 2020, is a major tourist magnet in Berlin.
The 10-minute elevator ride through the tank was one of the highlights of the attraction.