Breakfast at the Graham Center at Florida International University’s main campus was interrupted when the aquarium in the center’s food court burst Thursday morning.
Around 9 a.m., the 430-gallon tank ruptured, spilling all the water and fish on the floor of the student center.
“Apparently the seams gave way,” said FIU Media Relations Director Maydel Santana-Bravo. “We’re not sure why it broke. Luckily there was no one right around the fish tank when it burst.”
Students and other people in the center sprang to action to save the saltwater fish.
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“I understand the people who were in the building came to help [the fish],” Santana-Bravo said. “My understanding is that most of the fish were saved.”
The fish were put in a different tank elsewhere. According to Santana-Bravo, the fish were in shock and had not come out from under a piece of coral in that tank.
The area was cleaned. Santana-Bravo said it was too early to tell whether the aquarium in the food court would be replaced.
“I think the students would want it back,” Santana-Bravo said. “But I don’t know exactly what will happen.”
In 2012, a 13,000-gallon saltwater aquarium sprang a leak at Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino in Hallandale Beach. About 10,000 gallons gushed onto the floor. The fish stayed alive in the remaining water, although two casinos had to be shut down temporarily.