A view of debris on the street outside a hotel after a burst and leak of the AquaDom aquarium in central Berlin near Alexanderplatz, in Berlin, Germany, December 16, 2022. (MICHELE TANTUSSI / REUTERS)
BERLIN — An aquarium in Berlin that was home to around 1,500 exotic fish burst early on Friday, spilling 1 million litres (264,172 gallons) of water and debris onto a major road in the busy Mitte district, emergency services said.
Around 100 emergency responders rushed to the scene, a leisure complex that houses a Radisson hotel, a museum, shops and restaurants as well as what the DomAquaree complex says is the world's largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium at 14 metres (46 ft) in height.
A spokesperson for the Berlin fire brigade said emergency responders had been unable to access the ground floor of the building due to the debris
"In addition to the unbelievable maritime damage… two people were injured by glass splinters," Berlin police said on Twitter.
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A spokesperson for the Berlin fire brigade said emergency responders had been unable to access the ground floor of the building due to the debris. Search and rescue dogs were being sent to the scene, he added.
The spokesperson said it was still unclear what had caused the aquarium to burst. Neither the fire brigade nor the police commented on the fate of the fish.
Around 350 people who had been staying at the hotel in the complex were asked to pack their belongings and leave the building, the fire brigade spokesperson said.
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Buses were sent to the complex to provide shelter for people leaving the hotel as outside temperatures in Berlin were around -7 degrees Celsius (19.4°F), police said.
Emergency services shut a major road next to the complex that leads from Alexanderplatz toward the Brandenburg Gate due to the large volume of water that had flooded out of the building.