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Berlin aquarium collapse

Tropical+fish+in+an+aquarium
Chris HP under a CC0 public domain license.
Tropical fish in an aquarium

The Berlin break

The 82-foot tall AquaDom aquarium in Berlin collapsed almost a year ago on December 16, 2022. An investigation into the bursting of the AquaDom, which was considered by many to be the largest cylindrical aquarium in the world, concluded in late October without identification of a cause.

The aquarium was installed in the Radisson Berlin hotel in 2003. It featured a built-in elevator and was filled with 264,000 gallons of water and 1,500 tropical fish. There are no plans to rebuild it.

“You know, I think it’s a tragedy to lose the lives of that many fish,” sophomore Piercen Brooks stated.

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Only two people were injured when hundreds of thousands of gallons of water, and over a thousand fish, poured into the surrounding streets. The aquarium imploded at 5:45 a.m., so few people were put in danger.

“Without realizing, [a worker] could have been carrying a piece of wood and bumped it ever so slightly, [and] could have made a crack. Maybe there was a screw,” sophomore Quinn Tiell said.

Though the cause of the collapse of the 82-foot tall aquarium has not been conclusively identified, there are theories about what made the aquarium spew fish into the streets of Berlin, two of which relate to the modernization of the aquarium in 2020: The modernization could have caused the acrylic of the tank to dry because it was left without water for too long, or a worker could have accidentally dented the tank, leading to the incident. Another theory is that the seam of the tank may have failed.

“It was definitely the modernization. I believe that it could have been careless, underpaid workers; they just bumped into something. They definitely did not do anything on purpose,” Tiell continued.

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