'A veritable tsunami': Giant aquarium explodes in Berlin

'A veritable tsunami': Giant aquarium explodes in Berlin
The AquaDom. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A giant 16-metre-tall aquarium located inside the courtyard of a prestigious Berlin hotel exploded on Friday, Belga News Agency has reported.

The Aquadom aquarium, situated inside the DomAquarée complex of the Radisson Collection Hotel near Alexanderplatz, burst and spilt out more than a million litres of water upon its explosion. The incident also shattered part of the hotel's facade and caused two people to be hospitalised with injuries.

Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey told the AP that the explosion had unleashed a "veritable tsunami" of water. She added that the timing of the event — which took place at 05:45 local time on Friday morning — meant that fewer people were injured than could otherwise have been the case.

"Despite the destruction, we were still very lucky," she said. "We would have had terrible human damage."

German Member of Parliament Sandra Weeser, who was staying in the hotel when the tank burst, claimed that the hotel now looks "a bit like a war zone", adding: "There are shards [of glass] everywhere. The furniture, everything has been flooded with water."

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Built in 2003 at a cost of €12.8 million, Aquadom was the world's largest cylindrical aquarium. It was famously equipped with a built-in glass elevator which allowed visitors to observe from the inside its more than 1,500 tropical fish.

A spokesman for Berlin's fire brigade has told the BBC the "vast majority" of the fish have since died.

The Karl-Liebknecht Street, along which the hotel is located, is currently closed due to "an extremely large amount of water on the roadway", according to the Berlin traffic information centre.

The reason for the explosion remains unknown, although police have indicated that there is "no evidence" it was caused intentionally.

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