Lazy eyes listen
In a scene that the city’s mayor compared to a “true tsunami,” a massive aquarium explosion at a Berlin hotel early on Friday morning released 1,500 tropical fish into the lobby and flooded the city’s central business district with debris and hundreds of thousands of gallons of seawater.
264,000 gallons of water “burst abruptly” from the AquaDom tourist attraction at the Radisson Blu hotel in Berlin’s Mitte district just before 6 a.m. local time, according to the city’s fire department. According to the fire department, two people needed minor medical attention after being stung by glass splinters from the aquarium’s broken glass.
Police reported that “huge amounts of water” were pouring onto the street as about 100 firefighters arrived on the site. Social media videos from hotel visitors show extensive damage and water cascading everywhere but in the empty tank. Glass fragments, broken lights, bellhop carts, and tables can be seen all across the lobby.
Franziska Giffey, the mayor of Berlin, expressed relief that no one had been gravely hurt when she arrived to evaluate what the Berlin police had called “unbelievable maritime devastation.” According to authorities, 300 visitors and personnel were able to leave the facility unharmed.
We were still incredibly fortunate, Giffey added, according to the Associated Press, despite all the destruction. If the aquarium had exploded even an hour later on Friday, the mayor continued, “we would have had tremendous human harm.”
According to the fire service, the reason of the aquarium explosion is yet unknown and is being looked into. There is no proof, according to police, that the incident was a planned attack, they informed reporters. Berlin is currently experiencing below-freezing conditions, with nighttime lows of just 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
The AquaDom, which stands 82 feet tall, was hailed by its designers as the largest free-standing cylindrical tank ever built. The hotel’s 2003-built aquarium featured a 10-minute elevator ride that let visitors see the fish up close. It was last updated in 2020. The aquarium was home to more than 80 different species of fish, including blue tang and the famous clownfish made famous by the animated film “Finding Nemo.”
Giffey told reporters that none of the 1,500 fish could be salvaged.
The German news agency dpa was informed by Almut Neumann, a municipal official in charge of environmental matters for Berlin’s Mitte neighborhood, that efforts were being made to save hundreds of additional smaller fish in aquariums below the hotel lobby who were in danger of not getting the oxygen they required to survive.
Now the focus is on getting them out of there swiftly, Neumann added.
In an interview with local media, Sandra Weeser, a member of the federal parliament who was staying at the hotel, claimed that dying fish had streamed into the street.
She described it as “a vision of destruction with tons of dead fish and broken fragments.” The potential survivors were killed by freezing.
The owner of AquaDom, Sea Life, announced on its website that a different aquarium inside the hotel was shut down following the incident.
The business added, “We ask for your understanding and will announce as soon as we are open again.”
Authorities claim that in addition to the aquarium, a Lindt chocolate shop, a number of restaurants, and an underground parking lot next to the hotel were also damaged. Officials further stated that structural damage to the building is being examined by safety specialists.
Karin Wicki and Sandra Hoffmann, two hotel guests, described how the Radisson has undergone significant changes after the aquarium ruptured.
The visitors reported to dpa that “everything is destroyed inside.” Fish are already dead. The furniture is completely ruined. The windows have been damaged. Everywhere are shards.
Visitors to the Radisson captured the picture early on Friday. Some visitors reported being awakened by what they called “a rumbling beneath us.”
One visitor tweeted a picture of the damage along with the words, “The tank at our hotel… blew?” One visitor continued, “Last night I was watching the fish and divers!”
Another person tweeted a video of the commotion and was perplexed by what he saw.
One visitor said that the hotel’s fish tank had just exploded in the middle of the night. “WHAT’S HAPPENING?”