COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - Seawater leaked from two cracks in
Europe's second-biggest fish tank Wednesday after a fire destroyed
the museum that housed the aquarium, officials said.
Some of the 5,000 fish inside the tank were believed to have
died, aquarium officials said. The pipes that oxygenate the water,
letting fish breathe, were damaged, but replaced.
"We will be able to assess the damages on Thursday when we
hopefully can get in," biologist Henrik Flintegaard said.
"Firefighters won't let us in for safety reasons right now."
"We're crossing our fingers," he added.
The aquarium's specimens include a nearly 450-pound, 6 foot
sunfish, one of the largest boned fish in the world. The 1.2
million-gallon tank is Europe's second largest after the Lisbon
Oceanarium, in the Portuguese capital, which holds 1.3 million
gallons of sea water.
A fire broke out Tuesday night at the museum in northern Denmark
and caused two cracks in the 18-inch-thick glass. No one was
injured.
The water level sank by 10 feet, Flintegaard said. The
elliptical tank more than 26 feet deep.
"A colleague of mine was allowed on a fire engine lift and saw
the tank from above. He could see some fish swimming around,"
Flintegaard said.
Water leaked into two cellars beneath the tank, and roof debris
was found in the aquarium, according to firefighters.
The museum, a popular tourist attraction in Hirsthals, some 170
miles north of Copenhagen, was already closed when the fire broke
out shortly after 6 p.m. in the cafeteria, where workers had been
repairing the floor. The cause of the fire was not known.
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