Aquarium closed amid safety concerns

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A public aquarium situated within a shopping complex in South Korea has been closed amid fears over its safety.

A huge 5,200-ton display tank at Lotte World Aquarium, which is located at the newly opened Lotte World Mall, was ordered to be closed by the Seoul Metropolitan Government following the discovery of a number of cracks.

The Korea Times reports that aquarium officials tried to cover up the problem by blocking off the area around the leaking tank, with signs displayed that said the area was out of bounds to the public due to cleaning and 'environmental improvement'.

The first crack was discovered in early December and was reported to be 7cm in length. Lotte said the crack was caused by weakened acrylic coating and that it had been fixed.

However, more cracks have since been discovered in the main tank and on the side of a tank housing Beluga whales.

The situation is particularly hazardous because Lotte World Aquarium is situated right on top of a three-storey underground 154,000-volt transformer substation, so if the tank ruptured there could be disastrous results.

The Lotte World Aquarium offers visitors the chance to see more than 600 species of fish. It was only opened to the public in October 2014.

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