January 27, 2023

There is something strange about this disaster where an entire aquarium in Berlin, Germany burst open, killing about 1500 fish of various species.

Sean Gallup // Getty Staff

The Aquadom in Berlin

Located in the center of the Radisson Blu hotel, the 14-foot-tall structure — the AquaDom — was the “largest free-standing cylindrical aquarium” in the world, according to Sea Life Berlin.

The explosion released an estimated 264,000 gallons of water and damaged plants, telephone lines and other nearby buildings as the street became littered with debris and fish. Authorities said it was fortunate that the incident occurred around 5:45 a.m. local time (when most guests were not active near the area where the tank was located). Only two guests were reported to have been slightly injured.

Witnesses took to social media to share a damning first-hand look at the aftermath.

“It’s a tragedy for the fish,” said Markus Kamrad, a representative of the Berlin Senate New York Times. “We were lucky that it happened at a time when only two people were slightly injured. But it is of course a pity that so many fish died.”

The damage and impact of the AquaDom explosion were so powerful that it was initially thought to be an earthquake that seismographs in the area picked up on the forces.

Certain types of exotic fish survived by staying in a pool of water near the bottom of the tank, while others were stored in the basement of the building and were unaffected.

“Members of our leadership team are on scene and are working with authorities to investigate the cause of the incident,” the Radisson said in a statement. “We have closed the hotel immediately until further notice and are moving guests.”

It is not yet clear what caused the explosion, but authorities have said no foul play is suspected at this time.

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