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Huge Berlin aquarium bursts, 1M litres of water pour out onto street

A huge aquarium in the centre of Berlin has burst, causing a wave of devastation in and around the Sea Life tourist attraction, German police said.

Glass and other debris were swept out of the building, which also contains a hotel and cafes, as 1 million litres of water poured out of the 25-metre-high aquarium shortly before 0500GMT on Friday.

Berlin’s fire service said two people were lightly injured and rescue dogs were being prepared to search the building for anyone who might be trapped under debris.

Neither the fire brigade nor the police commented on the fate of the fish, though police said on Twitter there had been “unbelievable maritime damage”.

There was speculation that freezing temperatures of down to minus 10 degrees Celsius overnight had caused a crack in the tank, which then exploded under the weight of the water. 

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Police said the cause of the incident was still being investigated but there was no evidence that it was the result of an attack.

Witness Gwendolin Szyszkowitz told German news channel n-tv that she heard a loud bang and initially feared a bomb had exploded.

Operators say the aquarium has the biggest cylindrical tank in the world and contained 1,500 tropical fish of 80 different species before the incident. The aquarium, which was last modernised in 2020, is a major tourist magnet in Berlin.

The 10-minute elevator ride through the tank was one of the highlights of the attraction.

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