Fire rips through aquarium

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An aquarium in New Zealand has been gutted by fire, with most of the fish and other sea life displayed within believed to be dead as a result.

The 'Touch the Sea Aquarium' in Mapua on the country's South Island was found well ablaze in the early hours of this morning (September 15) and it took the combined efforts of eight appliances assisted by a helicopter to control and douse the flames.

The fire, which is believed to have started in the gift shop, is being treated as suspicious and is potentially linked to two other fires found in the small coastal town at the same time.

The aquarium, which displays native marine life including pufferfish, seahorses, rays and sharks, is a popular educational and tourist destination and its destruction leaves the South Island without a major attraction of this kind after the devastating earthquakes that struck the area earlier this year destroyed the Christchurch aquarium.

The owners still remain hopeful that a few fish may have survived in the larger tanks, but so far the only reported survivor is a turtle rescued by the fire-fighters and renamed 'Phoenix'.

You can watch a video of the damage caused by the fire below:


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