The world’s largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium in Berlin busted causing a massive wave of water that destroyed the hotel lobby where it was standing.
The “AquaDom” stood in the Radisson Blu Hotel and was a record-breaking 46 feet high. It contained more than a million liters of saltwater, and was home to over 1,500 tropical fish.
— Larissa (@lararimmer) December 16, 2022
Police said that the glass of the tank injured two people and a spokesman for Berlin’s fire brigade said that the vast majority of the fish had died due to the break. The tank was said to have contained more than 100 different species.
Paul Maletzki who was staying on the fourth floor with his girlfriend described it as a loud bang and shaking of the building that woke them both up from sleeping.
When he walked out of his room and looked down into the lobby, he saw a flooded room and he, along with other guests, were promptly escorted out of the hotel by armed police.
— Niklas Scheele (@niklas_scheele) December 16, 2022
Sandra Weeser, a member of the German federal parliament who had also been staying in the hotel told local news stations that the outside of the hotel was a “picture of devastation”.
There were fish everywhere that were frozen to death and a video showed piles of debris at the entrance along with the mangled front doors that were blown off by the wave of water.
— Arndt Breitfeld (@ArndtBreitfeld) December 16, 2022
According to the Mayor of Berlin, Franziska Giffey, who went to the hotel to see the damage, it was as if a “tsunami” wave came through and hit the hotel.
Giffey was saddened by the travesty, but, relieved that it happened at 5:30 in the morning while most people were still sleeping and not on the streets or in the lobby.
She said if the incident would have happened just an hour or so later when the lobby and streets outside would have been busy, it would have been an even more devastating situation.
Absolutely devastated to read about the #aquadom #radissonbluberlin 😭 I stayed there in 2017 & it was the most stunning sight. Those fish were really cared for. The divers went in & fed & cleaned them every day. Thinking of everyone affected. Hope some fish made it! 🙏🏻 #tragedy pic.twitter.com/VWUpuxN6DR
— Naomi A Austin SFHEA 🇬🇧➕🇪🇺 (@naomiaustin) December 16, 2022
More than 100 firefighters arrived on the scene to help in the aftermath and according to the authorities, it’s not clear what caused the aquarium to break.
There is currently an ongoing investigation happening, however, they did confirm that there is no evidence the break happened due to a targeted attack.
The tank cost more than €12.8m ($13.5m) to build. It was constructed and opened back in December of 2003, and claimed the Guinness World Record title for being the world’s largest cylindrical aquarium.