Soak the rich? Leak cre­ates panic

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - FROM THE COVER | - By BOR­ZOU DARA­GAHI

Wa­ter gushes from huge aquar­ium at Dubai Mall dur­ing cel­e­bra­tion of con­sumer cul­ture.

When you’re shop­ping for a pair of de­signer jeans or an­kle boots, you wouldn’t ex­pect to be met by a flood of salt­wa­ter and the im­mi­nent specter of sharks.

But shop­pers at the Dubai Mall faced just that prospect re­cently when the cen­ter’s mas­sive aquar­ium sprung a leak.

Am­a­teur video of the in­ci­dent last week shows pan­icked shop­pers slog­ging about as wa­ter gushes forth. Me­dia in the Per­sian Gulf city-state re­ferred to it as a mi­nor leak and said it was quickly brought un­der con­trol by the aquar­ium main­te­nance team without caus­ing harm to the crea­tures in­side.

The 2.65 mil­lion-gal­lon Dubai Aquar­ium was de­signed to hold more than 33,000 crea­tures from 85 species, ac­cord­ing to Dubai’s Khaleej Times. Among the spec­i­mens are more than 400 sharks and st­ingrays.

“A leak­age was no­ticed at one of the panel joints of the Dubai Aquar­ium at the Dubai Mall and was im­me­di­ately fixed,” said a state­ment is­sued by the mall.

The in­ci­dent took place dur­ing the Dubai Shop­ping Fes­ti­val, an an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of the city-state’s sta­tus as a con­sumer haven.

But some­one might want to have a word with the de­vel­op­ers of the mall, Emaar Prop­er­ties.

That’s the same com­pany that con­structed the record- shat­ter­ing, half-mile-tall Burj Khal­ifa sky­scraper. The 160story tower was shut down ear­lier this month, a month fol­low­ing its open­ing, af­ter an el­e­va­tor mal­func­tioned, trap­ping 15 pas­sen­gers for nearly an hour.

Emaar, with strong ties to Dubai’s rul­ing fam­ily, was struck hard by the global fi­nan­cial melt­down. Dis­trib­uted by McClatchyTri­bune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices.

The Dubai Aquar­ium was de­signed to hold more than 33,000 crea­tures, in­clud­ing hun­dreds of sharks and st­ingrays.

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