Massive aquarium holding 1,500 exotic fish ruptures

The AquaDom aquarium in the foyer of a Radisson Collection hotel in Berlin has exploded, sending 264,000 gallons of water, glass and fish raining down, flowing outside of the hotel onto the street.

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Berlin police said glass splinters from the aquarium injured at least two people, CNN reported.

Officials are still trying to find out why the aquarium burst at the Radisson Blu, BBC News reported.

“The whole aquarium burst and what’s left is total devastation. Lots of dead fish, debris,” hotel guest Sandra Weese told Reuters.

The tank held more than 100 different species of aquatic life and had an elevator that went up the center of the aquarium.

A spokesperson for Union Investment, which manages the fund that owns the property, told Reuters that all of the fish that had lived in the aquarium have died, but the workers were trying to rescue others that lived in smaller enclosures near the AquaDom. Those tanks were not damaged but power has been shut off to them.

The Berlin Zoological Garden has offered to take the surviving fish, The New York Times reported.

Berlin mayor Franziska Giffey said the scene looked like a tsunami, BBC News reported. A member of parliament said it was “a picture of devastation.”

Among the debris were twisted lamps and bellhop carts, all pushed out into the street from the rush of water as temperatures dipped to 19 degrees Fahrenheit, The New York Times reported.

About 100 firefighters responded to the scene and guests had to be evacuated.

Paul Maletzki was staying on the hotel’s fourth floor and was awakened by a loud bang and shaking. He looked to the lobby and saw water flowing across the floor, BBC News reported. He and other guests were eventually escorted from the hotel by police.

Hotel guest Naz Masraff told Reuters that “it felt like an earthquake.”

The AquaDom was installed in the hotel in 2003 and is the largest cylindrical free-standing aquarium in the world, the Times reported.