Berlin aquarium burst: Manufacturer releases statement after tank's spectacular collapse

Police find no evidence of a malicious act but the cause of the collapse remains unclear

By AP

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Police officers carry a plastic tub with rescued fish after a huge aquarium bursts in Berlin, Germany, on Friday. — AP
Police officers carry a plastic tub with rescued fish after a huge aquarium bursts in Berlin, Germany, on Friday. — AP

Published: Sat 17 Dec 2022, 3:50 PM

Last updated: Sat 17 Dec 2022, 4:42 PM

A US company that helped build a huge aquarium in Berlin says it is sending a team to investigate the rupture of the tank, which sent a wave of debris, water and tropical fish crashing through the hotel lobby it was located in and onto the street outside.

Reynolds Polymer Technology, which says it manufactured and installed the cylinder component of the AquaDom tank 20 years ago, said in an emailed statement that “at this point, it is too early to determine the factor or factors that would produce such a failure.”

Police have said they found no evidence of a malicious act but the cause of the spectacular collapse shortly before 6am on Friday, in which two people were slightly injured, remains unclear. Berlin's top security official, Iris Spranger, told German news agency dpa on Friday that “first indications point to material fatigue.”

Officials said on Friday evening that the hotel building itself was assessed to be safe.

The local government said that nearly all of the 1,500 fish that were inside at the time of the rupture died but “a few fish at the bottom of the tank” were saved. About 400 to 500 mostly small fish from a separate set of aquariums housed under the hotel lobby were evacuated to other tanks in a neighbouring aquarium that was unaffected.

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The AquaDom aquarium opened in December 2003 and was modernized in 2020.

Grand Junction, Colorado-based Reynolds Polymer, which says on its website that 41 of its acrylic panels were used in building the tank cylinder, said it “offers its sincere concern” to the hotel guests and workers who were affected and to those who were injured. It said that “we are also deeply saddened by the animals and aquatic life lost.”

The AquaDom aquarium at the Sea Life tourist attraction photographed in Berlin. — AP file
The AquaDom aquarium at the Sea Life tourist attraction photographed in Berlin. — AP file

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