A landmark aquarium in Berlin suddenly burst and smashed today sending 1500 exotic fish crashing out into a hotel lobby and a nearby street.
Around 100 emergency responders attended the extraordinary scene at the leisure complex that houses a Radisson hotel and a museum as well as what Sea Life Berlin said was the world's largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium at 14 metres (46ft) in height.
All 1500 fish from the aquarium died according to a spokesperson for Union Investment, which manages the real estate fund that owns the property after one million litres (264,172 gallons) of water spilled onto a major road in the busy Mitte district.
Around 100 emergency responders attended the incident in Berlin MICHELE TANTUSSI
A spokesperson for the fire brigade said it was still unclear what had caused the AquaDom aquarium to burst.
Efforts are now underway to rescue more fish from various smaller tanks near to the AquaDom which suffered power cuts after the collapse.
Two people including a hotel employee, were injured by splinters of glass, and emergency services asked around 350 hotel guests to pack their belongings and leave amid concerns that there could be structural damage.
Police said buses were sent to provide shelter for the hotel guests, as outside temperatures in Berlin in the morning dropped to around -7C.
Berlin mayor Franziska Giffey said It was fortunate that the accident happened so early in the morning, when there was hardly anybody in the immediate vicinity.
Sea Life Berlin said in a statement its team was shocked by the incident and was trying to obtain more information from the owners of the AquaDom about what had caused the incident.
Footage from inside the hotel showed extensive damage to the transparent aquarium, with only the frame still standing.
Sea Life Berlin said it was the world's largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium at 14 metres (46ft) in height Niklas Scheele
German lawmaker Sandra Weeser, who was staying at the hotel when the aquarium burst, told the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper she was woken up by 'a kind of shock wave'.
She said: “There was a slight tremor of the building and my first guess was an earthquake. 'There are shards (of glass) everywhere. The furniture, everything has been flooded with water. It looks a bit like a war zone.”
The area where the aquarium once stood was now just 'dark and wet' she said, recalling how she saw 'one of those large parrotfish lying on the ground, frozen'.
Radisson told its Radisson Rewards loyalty club members in an e-mail that the Radisson Collection Hotel Berlin was closed until further notice.