The New England Aquarium released a statement Friday saying it was "saddened" to hear that a huge aquarium inside a leisure complex in Berlin, Germany, had burst, sending 264,000 gallons of water gushing into a hotel lobby and out into the streets, killing nearly 1,500 tropical fish and injuring two people.
The president and CEO of the Boston aquarium wanted to reassure its visitors that the New England Aquarium's Giant Ocean Tank is structurally sound.
"We are confident in the structural integrity of our 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank, which has undergone a full renovation from top to bottom to fortify the structure," Vikki Spruill said in her statement. "The tank’s structural support comes from its steel-reinforced concrete base, encircling concrete spiral ramp, and 24 concrete columns that hold the acrylic window panels."
According to the New England Aquarium's website, the four-story Giant Ocean Tank is 40 feet wide and features a coral reef, an underwater communications system, large windows, and hundreds of Caribbean reef animals, including sea turtles, eels, and fishes.
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"Ensuring the safety of our animals, staff, and guests is at the core of the New England Aquarium’s work," Spruill added, going on to say that aquarium staff "closely monitor" their exhibit spaces and do daily checks of their tanks.
"We have many systems in place that would prevent catastrophic failure," she said.
Spruill said the aquarium is continuously "prioritizing infrastructure needs that ensure the integrity of our exhibits and the wellbeing of our animals.”
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The AquaDom, a major tourist attraction in the heart of the German capital, collapsed Friday morning. The 10-minute elevator ride through the tropical tank was considered one of the highlights. The aquarium had last been modernized in 2020.