At least two people were wounded when a gigantic aquarium inside a hotel in Berlin burst, according to local police, as roughly 1,500 tropical fish and “massive amounts of water” spilled out of a 264,000-gallon tank, leaking onto the street and heavily damaging the lobby.
Local police said roughly 100 emergency response officers responded to the scene, where two people were injured by shards that fell off the glass of the 50-foot-tall cylindrical tank inside the lobby of the Radisson Collection Hotel in the center of Berlin.
Speaking to reporters, Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey said the break took place at 5:45 a.m. local time, and that the hotel was lucky to avoid “terrible human damage.”
None of the 1,500 fish were saved, Giffey said, although officials are working to save several hundred smaller fish that had been kept in separate aquariums below the hotel lobby.
Photos and videos on social media showed shards of glass strewn throughout the lobby, where furniture and windows were destroyed.
Hotel guests told Reuters the burst left “total devastation.”
All 400 people who had been staying at the hotel have been evacuated and are awaiting transport to other hotels in the city, German outlet DW News reported—the temperature in Berlin this morning was below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
The hotel has been closed until further notice, a hotel spokesperson told EuroNews.
Das Berliner Riesen-Aquarium „Aquadom“ ist geplatzt. Die Ursache ist noch immer unklar. Eine Million Liter Wasser sind ausgelaufen. Laut Feuerwehr wurden zwei Menschen verletzt.
— DW Deutsch (@dw_deutsch) December 16, 2022
Huge aquarium breaks at Sea Life Berlin, sending a wave into the street and killing up to 1,500 tropical fish pic.twitter.com/F0GhVmNh2r
— BNO News (@BNONews) December 16, 2022
— rbb|24 (@rbb24) December 16, 2022
The aquarium, called AquaDom, was known as the world’s biggest cylindrical fish tank, housing more than 1,500 tropical fish and more than 100 unique species. In a statement, Sea Life Berlin, which operates the aquarium, said it was “shocked” and looking into what caused the incident.