Dubai Mall evacuated after aquarium leak
Dubai, February 25, 2010
Dubai Mall, one of the world's largest shopping centres and a symbol of Dubai's grandeur, was partly closed on Thursday after an aquarium containing thousands of fish and other sea animals started leaking, police and witnesses said.
“A leakage was noticed at one of the panel joints of the Dubai Aquarium at The Dubai Mall and was immediately fixed by the aquarium’s maintenance team,' said a statement from The Dubai Mall.
“The leakage did not impact the aquarium environment or the safety of the aquatic animals. The Dubai Aquarium works with international experts in aquarium management and upholds the highest safety standards in its management,” it added.
One of the largest tanks in the world, the aquarium features the world's largest viewing panel at 32.8 metres (107 ft 7 in) wide and 8.3 metres high.
It was designed to hold more than 33,000 living animals, representing more than 85 species including over 400 sharks and rays combined, according to Dubai Mall's website.
A Reuters witness said the mall, operated by Emaar Properties, had been partly evacuated and dozens of emergency vehicles were outside. Six divers entered the tank and appeared to be coordinating with workers outside the glass.
Labourers mopped up water from the floor.
'I saw a small crack in the aquarium glass and there was a little water coming out and a lot of water on the floor,' said Ranjin, a 27-year old corporate secretary. 'The police came and evacuated the area around the aquarium.'
Emaar Properties, the Arab world's largest developer, came under scrutiny earlier in February when it closed the observation deck at Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower and the firm's flagship project, just a month after its fanfare opening. – Reuters & TradeArabia News Service