A huge tropical aquarium burst in a hotel in downtown Berlin on Friday morning, sending waves of seawater through the lobby and onto the street. Around 1,500 tropical fish that lived in the 50-foot-high, 264,000-gallon cylindrical tank were not expected to survive.
“The aquarium burst and one million liters of water and 1,500 fish were very suddenly discharged to the ground floor,” said Mike Baakes, a spokesman for the Berlin Fire Brigade.
Two people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries caused by the accident.
About 100 firefighters responded to the scene, and they cordoned off an intersection close to the hotel, a Radisson, in Alexanderplatz, as water coursed onto the street.
The hotel was evacuated, and the authorities were checking whether there was any structural damage to the building.
The cylindrical tank, called AquaDom and part of the Sea Life tourist attraction in Berlin, was built in the hotel in 2003. The cause of the collapse was not immediately clear, though local news reports suggested a technical defect was to blame.
In a post on Twitter by a guest, using an expletive, a video showed the wreckage of the giant tank amid mangled debris.
The tank, in the center of the hotel’s atrium, had a diameter of 38 feet and was wrapped around a glass elevator that allowed visitors to view the sea life inside.
The Berlin Fire Brigade said that most of the water had run into the basement and from there into the building’s sewage system.