Huge aquarium in Berlin hotel bursts, injuring 2 and causing loss of 1,500 fish

A giant aquarium at a Berlin hotel exploded on Friday, causing “absolute destruction” and resulting in the loss of about 1,500 tropical fish, officials said.

The AquaDom, a 50-foot-tall cylindrical glass aquarium with a built-in elevator at the Radisson Collection Hotel, Berlin, collapsed just before 6 a.m. local time, officials said.

PHOTO: Debris covers a street in front of a hotel after the hotel's AquaDom aquarium exploded in Berlin, Germany, December 16, 2022.

Debris covers a street in front of a hotel after the AquaDom aquarium at the hotel burst in Berlin, Germany, December 16, 2022.

Michele Tantussi/Reuters

PHOTO: Debris covers the street in front of a hotel after an aquarium inside the hotel burst December 16, 2022 in Berlin, Germany.

Debris covers the street in front of a hotel after an aquarium burst inside the hotel in Berlin, Germany, December 16, 2022.

Christoph Soeder/DPA via AP

“The causes are not yet clear, but one has to say that it was a veritable tsunami that swept over the hotel grounds and the adjacent restaurants,” said Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey in a statement.

Two people – a hotel worker and a guest – were injured in the incident and were treated at a hospital, the Radisson Hotel Group said.

“We offer the injured guest and our colleague our full support and wish a speedy recovery,” the company said in a statement. “Members of our leadership team are on site and are working with authorities to determine the cause of the incident.”

PHOTO: A dead fish lies in the rubble in front of the Radisson Blu Hotel where an aquarium burst in the hotel lobby, December 16, 2022 in Berlin.

A dead fish lies in the rubble in front of the Radisson Blu Hotel where an aquarium burst in the hotel lobby, December 16, 2022 in Berlin.

John Macdougall/AFP via Getty Images

Giffey said none of the fish could have been saved.

“If the whole thing hadn’t happened at 5:45 in the morning, but only an hour later, we would probably have to report horrific human injuries here now,” Giffey said. “This is a situation that really means absolute destruction.”

Footage after the aquarium burst showed water filling the lobby and smoke inside the hotel. Debris also littered the sidewalk and street in front of the hotel.

PHOTO: The AquaDom aquarium after it burst in Berlin on December 16, 2022.

The AquaDom aquarium after its explosion in Berlin, December 16, 2022.

Niklas Scheele via Reuters

The hotel is closed until further notice and guests are being relocated, Radisson Hotel Group said.

SEA LIFE Berlin, which operates the AquaDom, described the attraction as the “largest, cylindrical, free-standing aquarium in the world”.

PHOTO: People gather at the top of the AquaDom aquarium at tourist attraction Sea Life in Berlin, Germany, July 27, 2015.

People gather on the roof of the AquaDom aquarium at the tourist attraction Sea Life in Berlin, Germany, 27 July 2015.

Jörg Carstensen/DPA via AP Photo, file

“Due to the recently reported incident regarding the AquaDom, the SEA LIFE Berlin is unfortunately temporarily closed,” the company announced on its website. “We ask for your understanding and will announce as soon as we are open again.”

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