Huge Berlin Aquarium Bursts; Housed 1,500 Tropical Fish

December 16, 2022

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 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.

Police officers block a street after a huge aquarium burst at the Seal Life Aquarium in central Berlin, Germany, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. (Christoph Soeder/dpa via AP)

There was speculation that freezing temperatures of down to 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.

A firefighter stands in front of debris after a huge aquarium burst at the Seal Life Aquarium in central Berlin, Germany, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. (Christoph Soeder/dpa via AP)

Operators say the aquarium has the biggest cylindrical tank in the world and contained 1,500 tropical fish of 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.



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