Probably no one thought of starting their planned visit to the Aquadom in Berlin today anyway. But to be on the safe side, the operator of the huge aquarium writes on its website that the facility will remain closed for the time being. "Due to the currently reported incident in connection with the AquaDom, the SEA LIFE Berlin is unfortunately temporarily closed. You can rebook your booked tickets here free of charge. We ask for your understanding and will announce as soon as we are open again."
Shortly before 12 p.m., Sea Life then sent a statement via email. It states: "The entire team of SEA LIFE Berlin is dismayed by the incident in the AquaDom, which is not far from our aquarium. We are currently trying to get more information from the owners of the AquaDom as to what exactly happened. At this point in time please we refrain from speculating until the background of this accident has been clarified." After thanking the fire brigade and police, the press release ends with the note: "SEA LIFE Berlin is not the owner of the AquaDom, nor is maintenance and care in the hands of SEA LIFE Berlin."
Part of the attraction, the Sea Life underwater world with additional aquariums, is not directly affected by the destruction. A spokesman for the fire brigade said that some aquariums and pools at Sea Life, which are located a little further away in the same building complex, are now being checked for possible damage.
In view of the extent of the destruction, a reopening is unlikely to be possible any time soon. In the early morning, the large aquarium near the Berlin Cathedral burst with 1000 cubic meters of water and 1500 fish. Parts of the surrounding hotel were destroyed. According to the police, there were initially no indications of a targeted, violent attack. According to police, two people were injured and taken to the hospital.
According to initial findings, the accident is probably due to material fatigue. "Of course, the investigation into the cause has not yet been completed, but the first signs point to material fatigue," said Berlin's Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) of the German Press Agency.
The police spoke of a very loud noise or a bang that could be heard. The fire brigade received an alarm from an automatic fire alarm in the hotel at 5:43 a.m. Parts of the facade of the hotel in which the aquarium was located flew onto the street. Large amounts of water spilled out and onto the street. The police and fire brigade have been on duty since the morning, each with around 100 people.
Berlin's governing mayor also reacted to the incident on Twitter. "Bad news from the burst aquarium at Berlin Cathedral," wrote Giffey. "I would like to thank the emergency services for their commitment and I wish the injured a speedy recovery."
According to the fire brigade, the giant tank with a million liters of water was destroyed very quickly. "If the aquarium is defective, it bursts suddenly," said a spokesman for the fire brigade. "It's not a small crack from which the water is leaking, but the entire aquarium suddenly burst." All of the 1,500 or so fish that lived there are no longer in the water.
According to the operator on the Internet, the Aquadom in Sea Life was the "largest, cylindrical, free-standing aquarium in the world", an attraction in Berlin well-known to many tourists. It was an acrylic glass container 16 meters high and 11.5 meters in diameter. Visitors could ride through the interior of the aquarium in an elevator.
About 1,500 fish from over 100 different species lived in the tank. The aquarium was filled with a million liters of salt water. That would be 1000 cubic meters of water weighing 1000 tons. According to the information, the aquarium was extensively modernized by summer 2020.
Sea Life consists of various aquariums and tanks with fish on the ground floor on the other side of the building. A tunnel allows visitors to walk through a large aquarium with sharks and rays. At the end of the tour you finally reached the Aquadom, which is now destroyed.