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Refunds for Oceanogràfic visitors evacuated during fire
By thinkSPAIN Team Wed, Jul 10, 2019
EUROPE'S largest aquarium was replete with visitors when a blaze broke out yesterday (Tuesday) morning, but the prompt and orderly action of the emergency team meant the 1,400-plus people inside were evacuated smoothly, and none of the sea creatures living there were harmed.
Valencia's Oceanogràfic was relatively undamaged, as it took just 20 minutes to put the flames out.
The blaze started at around 11.00 in a pre-fabricated tower near the shark area, creating a huge column of smoke.
A small storeroom containing maintenance material was destroyed, along with a cardboard rockery for crocodiles.
Although the tower itself, in the Oceans section, went up like a tinderbox, the sharks were down below and low enough that they would not have been aware of the blaze, let alone injured by it.
The tower was made from the same type of material as that used to build the spectacular falla monuments during the huge festival that takes over the Valencia region in March, and which are designed to burn quickly.
It is thought the inferno was caused by a spark from a nearby building site where part of the City of Arts and Sciences is undergoing renovation works.
The Oceanogràfic had to remain closed for the rest of Tuesday, and all visitors there at the time or who had booked in advance for that day will be given a refund.
They can file a reimbursement claim by phoning (0034) 96 047 06 47.
Valencia's Oceanogràfic forms part of the iconic City of Arts and Sciences, a futuristic complex often compared favourably with the Sydney Opera House, and which has been part of the scenery for films, including Tomorrowland with George Clooney and a 2017 episode of Doctor Who.
The aquarium itself has on-site vets specialising in marine wildlife.
Sea turtles caught up in fishing nets or rescued when found injured are taken to the Oceanogràfic and nursed back to health before being turned loose back in the sea, near to where they were originally sighted, once they are able to survive on their own again.
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