The world’s largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium shatters inside the Radisson Blu Hotel- flooding its foyer with one million litres of water and 1,500 exotic fish. 

The doors of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Berlin remain closed ‘until further notice’ as the aftermath of the mega-aquarium explosion in December causes potentially irreversible damage.

Millions of litres of water and over 1,500 tropical fish showered guests and flooded onto the street as the foyer was obliterated and the electricity of the hotel was cut off. 

Miraculously, only two people were seriously injured at the scene. The victims were swiftly transported to hospital with glass splinters from the shattered tank and have now achieved a full recovery. The fish, however, were not so lucky. Guests reported seeing different species of iced sea creatures on the freezing pavements of Berlin as temperatures dropped to -7 degrees outside the entrance of the hotel. Unfortunately, only a few of the 1,500 exotic fish were saved at the bottom of the tank. 

It’s no surprise that guests reported fearing for their lives as the explosion registered on local seismometers used to record earthquake and volcano tremors. One guest reported that the “whole building vibrated” and only the bang, followed by the piercing sound twisting of metal could be heard ringing through the halls of the 427-room hotel. 

Picture credit: https://twitter.com/ErdbebenDE

Whilst officials had previously assessed the building to have been safe, and later investigations remain indeterminate as to the cause of the catastrophe, Hermann Schuranm, former owner of Schuranm Seawater Equipment, described the tank as a ‘ticking time bomb’. Schuranm was called upon by the hotel to build the structure in 2003 but refused due to safety concerns. He argues that negligence would have ultimately caused the explosion and that the tank should have been inspected by professionals for tension at least every two years. 

Whilst further architectural analysis and excavation continues to take place, the buildings’ flooded cellars and damp foundations mean that the future of Berlin’s Radisson Blu Hotel remains uncertain. If nothing else, this architectural catastrophe stands as a precautionary tale of material fatigue and the importance of routine architectural safety checks in hotels globally.