World’s largest free-standing aquarium bursts in Berlin

A million-liter aquarium has exploded in Berlin hotel

The AquaDom was a 25-metre-tall (82 ft) cylindrical acrylic glass aquarium with built-in transparent elevator in Berlin, Germany. It was located inside the Radisson Collection Hotel in the DomAquarée complex at Karl-Liebknecht-Straße in Berlin-Mitte. The DomAquarée complex also contains offices, a museum, a restaurant, and the aquarium Berlin Sea Life Centre.

The AquaDom in the lobby of the Radisson Collection Hotel in Berlin, Germany.

Failure and destruction

At 5:45 a.m. on 16 December 2022, the cylindrical tank burst. Around 1 million litres of water poured into the hotel and street area, together with the 1,500 fish hosted in it, devastating the interior of the hotel and causing a large-scale deployment of rescue workers.

Cascades of water devastated the lobby

The rush of water damaged several nearby businesses, including a Lindt chocolate shop, and was powerful enough to be detected by local seismographs

Cascades of water carried debris into the hotel

 Sandra Weeser, a member of the Bundestag who was staying at the hotel at the time, described being woken up by “a kind of shock wave”. There was no suspicion of foul play, with a spokesman for the owners of the tank stating the reason for the collapse was not yet clear.

Failures of large acrylic aquariums have happened at several places before including the T-Rex Café at Disney Springs in Orlando and the world’s largest aquarium at the Dubai Mall.

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