Berlin AquaDom aquarium: Police not seeking suspects

Berlin police say they are not seeking suspects following the explosion of the “AquaDom” aquarium on Friday, warning the public about what they say is a fake tweet suggesting they are.

The explosion in the Radisson Blu hotel spilled one million litres of saltwater, flooding the hotel and nearby streets.

Hundreds of fish died and two people were injured by falling glass.

Inspectors have now declared the building safe.

A police source told local media on Friday there was no evidence the blast in the 15.85m high (52 ft) aquarium was the result of a targeted attack.

They have also taken to social media to debunk a tweet from a copycat account that is asking for the public’s help in tracking down suspects linked to the incident.

A tweet from the real Berlin police account says that they “expressly dissociate” themselves from the fake post and have asked people not to recirculate it.

An investigation into the exact cause of the explosion is ongoing but there has been speculation that the freezing temperatures – which dropped as low as -6C overnight on Friday – may have caused a crack in the tank.

Berlin’s Interior Senator, Iris Spranger, told the DPA news agency that first signs suggest that the cause was “material fatigue”.

AquaDom was opened in December 2003 and was given the Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest cylindrical aquarium.

According to reports at the time of its construction, it cost about €12.8m (£11.2m) to build. It was last refurbished in 2020.

There has reportedly been extensive damage to the lobby at the Radisson Blu hotel from Friday’s explosion, with a spokesman for the local fire department telling German broadcaster Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg that it “looks like a battlefield”.

Friedrich Engel, a spokesperson for the Federal Agency for Technical Relief, which assists in emergencies, has said that the building has been classified as safe and handed back to the owners.

A spokesman for the owner, Union Investment, has told the media that the building is not in danger of collapsing.

The hotel has been closed indefinitely and its guests have been relocated.

Other businesses in the building complex are also reported to have suffered damage.

An image showing the AquaDom aquarium
Image caption,The AquaDom in Berlin contained about 1,500 fish and over a million litres of water

While the majority of the 1,500 fish kept in the aquarium were killed in the explosion, some managed to survive and have been taken elsewhere.

Hundreds more fish that were kept in the basement for breeding purposes were also at risk from the power cut that followed the incident but they have also now been moved to safety.

The animal rights group Help for Animals in Need has started an online petition urging against the installation of a new aquarium.

Source: The BBC News

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