Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

Huge shark-filled aquarium in Dubai cracks open

Sharks in the Dubai Mall aquarium
The aquarium boasts 30,000 species of underwater creature

An aquarium and a shopping centre in Dubai have been evacuated after water leaked from a massive tank holding hundreds of sharks.

Safety officials said the "small crack" appeared in the tank which holds 10 million litres of water and more than 33,000 underwater creatures.

The aquarium, opened in 2008, was promoted as being an "indoor ocean".

The mall owners said the leak appeared in a panel joint in the tank and was immediately fixed by engineers.

Teams carrying lifejackets were seen entering the mall.

Tower problems

"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," a spokesman for the mall said.

"The leakage did not impact the aquarium environment or the safety of the aquatic animals."

The statement said the company worked with experts and "upholds the highest safety standards in its management."

The aquarium is at the foot of the world's largest building -the Burj Khalifa, also owned by Emaar Properties. It had to shut its viewing deck after a lift malfunction earlier in February.

Dubai has had a recent string of publicity disasters following last year's announcement the Emirate would not be able to pay its debts.

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