x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Aquarium leak floods Dubai Mall

A crack in Dubai Mall's aquarium, one of the world's largest tanks, has flooded several areas of the world's biggest shopping arcade.

Fire engines and rescue vehicles are seen outside Dubai Mall today.
Fire engines and rescue vehicles are seen outside Dubai Mall today.

DUBAI // A crack in Dubai Mall's aquarium, one of the world's largest tanks, flooded several areas of the world's biggest shopping arcade this afternoon. Security staff immediately cordoned off large sections of the mall as huge pools of water formed in the section close to the aquarium, which holds 10 million litres of water and up to 30,000 maritime creatures. A mall manager said that as many as 300 cleaners were deployed to mop the water off the floors. A civil defence spokesman confirmed that the flooding was a result of a "crack in the aquarium". He said that the situation is under control and a team is working on fixing the problem. Shop staff near the aquarium were told to leave their shops. Lt Col Omar al Shamsi, the director of the command and control room at Dubai Police, confirmed that the operation room received a report regarding the damage of the Aquarium. "When we received the report we deployed police patrols to supervise the situation," he said. Matthew Schrieber, 56, from Germany said he was told to leave the area around the tank. "I saw all this water on the floor and staff running around with mops. Then we were told to leave but nobody would tell us what happened." John and Rosemary Rooney, visiting from Northern Ireland, said security staff had cordoned off too many areas, including many apparently unaffected by the leak. "Where I come from, if a place is cordoned off to this extent you imagine there's a bomb scare," said Mr Rooney, 57. His wife added: "It's a bit crazy to cordon off the whole place like this when it's only one area that's affected. We were up on the third floor, and you couldn't access the hall area that overlooks the aquarium, which seems odd." * Additional reporting by Hugh Naylor