World's largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium bursts in Berlin hotel

Neither the fire brigade nor the police commented on the fate of the fish.

 Emergency services work on a street outside a hotel after a burst and leak of the AquaDom aquarium in central Berlin near Alexanderplatz, with water poured out onto the street, in Berlin, Germany, December 16, 2022. (photo credit: MICHELE TANTUSSI/REUTERS)
Emergency services work on a street outside a hotel after a burst and leak of the AquaDom aquarium in central Berlin near Alexanderplatz, with water poured out onto the street, in Berlin, Germany, December 16, 2022.
(photo credit: MICHELE TANTUSSI/REUTERS)

An aquarium in Berlin that was home to around 1,500 exotic fish burst early on Friday, spilling 1 million liters (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 meters (46 ft) in height.

"In addition to the unbelievable maritime damage... two people were injured by glass splinters," Berlin police said on Twitter.

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.

 Emergency services work on a street outside a hotel after a leak of the AquaDom aquarium in central Berlin near Alexanderplatz, with water poured out onto the street, in Berlin, Germany, December 16, 2022.  (credit: MICHELE TANTUSSI/REUTERS) Emergency services work on a street outside a hotel after a leak of the AquaDom aquarium in central Berlin near Alexanderplatz, with water poured out onto the street, in Berlin, Germany, December 16, 2022. (credit: MICHELE TANTUSSI/REUTERS)

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.

Emergency response

Emergency services shut a major road next to the complex that leads from Alexanderplatz toward the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin due to the large volume of water that had flooded out of the building.

The road as well as the sidewalks outside the complex were littered with debris.

Buses were sent to the complex to provide shelter for hotel guests leaving the building, police said on Twitter, as outside temperatures in Berlin stood around -7 degrees Celsius (19.4°F).