Anyone who caught the dire experiment in 3-D cinema that was 1983’s Jaws 3 will know that sharks busting through aquarium glass is never a good thing. So spare a thought for the 15 people who, during a visit to a shopping mall on Tuesday last week, found themselves running to escape giant shards of glass, gallons of water and, bizarrely, sharks.
Visitors to the Dongfang shopping mall in Shanghai, China were going about their business picking up Christmas presents and fancy new outfits when the seven metres long by three metres tall shop-front aquarium creaked, groaned and, with an almighty smash, burst out into the centre of the mall.
Despite being made of glass 10 cm thick, the entirely front pane of the large fish tank buckled under the water’s pressure. As the tank exploded, people scattered in all directions, probably not quite able to understand why they were suddenly being overcome by sharks and massive slabs of glass. The gushing water also took with it shops’ displays, and water flooded the mall, leaving much of it looking like a nearby river had burst its banks.
Despite as many as 15 shoppers receiving minor injuries, including one who suffered a broken arm, there were, thankfully, no fatalities. Or no human fatalities, at least; much to shoppers and employees’ dismay, three of the sharks, which have come to be known as unofficial mascots for the mall, died as they spilled out onto the floor. As grand as the magnificent fish must have looked swimming around in their tank prior to the accident, with the creatures’ entirely ornamental presence in the mall resulting in their untimely death, we have to wonder whether we humans are being just a tad vain in keeping them just to please us while we shop for our trinkets…
▼Injured shoppers and enormous shards of thick glass
▼Scenes of aftermath
▼The gallons of water even made their way outside, much to passerby’s disbelief
[ Read in Japanese ]