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Massive aquarium at Berlin hotel bursts, injuring two and causing loss of 1,500 fish

GETTY_121622_BerlinAquaDom
JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images

(BERLIN) — A massive aquarium inside a Berlin hotel burst on Friday, causing “absolute destruction” and resulting in the loss of some 1,500 tropical fish, officials said.

The AquaDom, a 50-foot-tall cylindrical glass aquarium with a built-in elevator located inside the Radisson Collection Hotel, Berlin, collapsed shortly before 6 a.m. local time, officials said.

“The causes are not yet clear, but you have to say, that was a veritable tsunami that has poured over the hotel premises, the adjacent restaurants,” Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey said in a statement.

Two people — a hotel employee and guest — were injured in the incident and were being treated at a hospital, the Radisson Hotel Group said.

“We offer our full support to the injured guest and our colleague and wish for a speedy recovery,” the company said in a statement. “Members of our leadership team are on site, and, together with the authorities, are looking into the cause of the incident.”

Giffey said none of the fish could have been saved.

“If the whole thing had not happened at 5:45 a.m. but only one hour later, then we would probably have to report terrible human damage here now,” Giffey said. “This is a situation that really means absolute destruction. “

Footage in the wake of the aquarium bursting showed water filling the lobby and smoke in the hotel. Debris also littered the sidewalk and street outside the hotel as well.

The hotel is closed until further notice and guests are being relocated, Radisson Hotel Group said.

SEA LIFE Berlin, which operated the AquaDom, billed the attraction as the “largest, cylindrical, free-standing aquarium in the world.”

“Due to the recently reported incident in regards to the AquaDom, SEA LIFE Berlin is unfortunately temporarily closed,” the company said on its website. “We ask for your understanding and will announce as soon as we are open again.

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