More than 1,600 visitors and 350 staff were evacuated after a fire broke out at Europe’s largest aquarium in Valencia, Spain. A column of dense black smoke rose from the building.

The blaze was reported at about 11.00 Am local time, as visitors reportedly noticed smoke near a shark enclosure. Almost 2,000 people were soon evacuated, as a plume of smoke erupted from the building.

No injuries to any visitors or animals were reported, and firefighters extinguished the blaze around 20 minutes after it broke out, the aquarium said on Twitter. Much of the damage was confined to the above-ground entranceway to the aquarium.

The aquarium covers an area of 110,000 square meters and is home to 500 species. The building itself is a part of the gigantic ‘City of Arts and Sciences’ complex, which also houses a planetarium, museum, botanical garden, arena and opera house. Construction on the complex began in 1994 and was completed in 2005.

Tags: ;