Dubai: A leak forced the partial closure and evacuation of Dubai Mall on Thursday as shoppers had to avoid a torrent of water gushing from its landmark aquarium.
Water poured out of the structure but none of the 33,000 sea creatures advertised as living inside, got out. The aquarium has the capacity to hold 10 million litres of water.
Dubai Civil Defence confirmed that the aquarium had developed a minor crack around midday.
The lower-ground and ground floor areas were cordoned off and cleaners were seen mopping the floor. Most shops in the vicinity were also shuttered.
"I heard a loud ‘doush' noise and suddenly a lot of water was flowing all over the ground," said eye-witness Nadine. B., 29, from Germany.
"Water was running out of the aquarium very quickly and the security guards were asking people to move away," she said.
"I was scared that it might crack so I moved to the first floor. The security people were trying to move the crowd away. One woman was really scared, but others acted like nothing was happening."
A Dubai Mall spokesperson said that a "leakage" was noticed at one of the panel joints and was immediately fixed by the aquarium's maintenance team.
The leak did not impact the aquarium environment or the safety of the aquatic animals, the spokesperson said.