Sea Life large aquarium bursts – water runs on the street

  • 1/8 The XXL aquarium before the explosion. (Keystone)

  • 2/8 images of devastation. (Keystone)

  • 3/8 pictures of devastation. (Keystone)

  • 4/8 images of devastation. (Keystone)

  • 5/8 pictures of devastation. (Keystone)

  • 6/8 images of devastation. (Keystone)

  • 7/8 pictures of the devastation. (Keystone)

  • 8/8 pictures of the devastation. (Keystone)

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The giant aquarium in Berlin has burst. (Image: Keystone)


A large aquarium with a million liters of water and 1500 fish near the Berlin Cathedral in the center of the German capital has burst.

Parts of the surrounding hotel were destroyed on Friday morning. According to the police, there were initially no indications of a targeted, violent attack. Instead, material fatigue is suspected. According to the police, two people were injured and taken to the hospital.

The police spoke of a very loud noise or a bang that could be heard. The fire brigade received an alarm from an automatic fire alarm in the hotel at 5:43 a.m. Parts of the facade of the hotel in which the aquarium was located were flown on the street. Large amounts of water poured up on the road. The police and fire brigade have been on duty since the morning, each with around 100 people.

Whether the two injured people are employees of the hotel in which It was initially not known whether the aquarium was located or whether it was hotel guests.

16 meters high and 11.5 meters in diameter

According to the operator, the so-called Aquadom in Sealife was the “largest, cylindrical, free-standing aquarium in the world”, a well-known attraction in Berlin for many tourists. It was an acrylic glass container 16 meters high and 11.5 meters in diameter. Visitors could ride through the interior of the aquarium in an elevator.

The cause could be material fatigue: “Of course, investigations into the cause have not yet been completed , but the first signs point to material fatigue,” Berlin’s Senator for the Interior, Iris Spranger, told the German Press Agency. According to the police, there were initially no indications of an attack: “Not at all at the moment,” a police spokesman replied to a corresponding question.

According to the The huge tank with a million liters of water was quickly destroyed by the fire brigade. “If the aquarium is defective, it bursts suddenly,” said a spokesman for the fire brigade. “It’s not a small crack from which the water is leaking, but the entire aquarium suddenly burst.” All of the 1500 or so fish that lived there are no longer in the water.

Water leaked through the doors on the ground floor

According to the fire brigade, a large part of the water ran through the doors on the ground floor onto the street and there into the gullies. I didn’t find much water in the basements. The destroyed ground floor was searched for people with rescue dogs.

Because of the severe damage, guests from the surrounding hotel also had to leave the building, according to a spokesman the fire department said. Almost 300 people were still in the hotel.

According to this, around 1,500 fish from over 100 different species lived in the pool. The aquarium was filled with a million liters of salt water. That would be 1,000 cubic meters of water weighing 1,000 tons. According to the information, the aquarium was extensively modernized by summer 2020.

Guests of the hotel in Berlin-Mitte unanimously reported an explosion-like bang. This happened between 5:30 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. “We were really scared,” said a young woman from the German Press Agency. Initially, there was no information from the hotel, according to several guests.

The reception could not be reached via the landline. “After 8 a.m. the information came that we had to get out.” “You could see the whole thing fell apart,” said a young hotel guest.

Interior destruction

Karin Wicki and Sandra Hoffmann from Switzerland described: “Everything is destroyed in the interior. There are little fish. All the furniture is destroyed. The windows are destroyed. Shards everywhere.” They were only informed shortly before 9 a.m. that they had to leave the hotel.

Berlin’s Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey thanked the emergency services at Sea Life. “Bad news from the bursting aquarium at Berlin Cathedral,” she wrote on Twitter on Friday. “I thank the emergency services for their commitment and I wish the injured a speedy recovery.”

In the past, too, aquariums had sometimes burst– if not as huge as now in Berlin. In December 2012, for example, the glass several centimeters thick in an open-air shark tank in a shopping center in Shanghai, China, ruptured. 16 people were injured.

The cause was probably a combination of sub-zero temperatures, warm water and weak material. In February 1997, according to media reports, a shark tank at the Sydney Aquarium burst, injuring at least one woman. Experts criticized that the glass was too thin.

The traffic information center in Berlin tweeted, on the Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse, where the hotel with the Aquarium lies, be locked. “There is a lot of water on the road. So far, the cause is still unclear.” The place is very close to the Alexanderplatz in Berlin with the TV Tower.

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