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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ceiling at Theater in London Collapses on Audience

Dozens of people were injured, including at least five of them seriously, when part of the ceiling of the Apollo Theater in London’s West End collapsed onto the audience during a performance Thursday night, police and fire officials said.

A witness told Sky News International that part of the ceiling came crashing onto the balcony, where she was sitting, and fell onto the orchestra area below about 40 minutes into the performance of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” She described the chunk of plaster as measuring two meters by two meters, or about six feet by six feet. She said people were covered with dust and debris as they headed for the exits.

Another eyewitnesses told Channel 4 News in London that she initially thought noise and confusion was part of the play as debris rained down.

A witness to the ceiling collapse at the Apollo Theater talking to reporters.

More than 700 people were in the theater, which first opened its doors in 1901, at the time. Police and fire officials in London posted regular updates on Twitter, saying that everyone trapped inside had been freed and that the injured had been transported to area hospitals.

Other local theaters near Shaftesbury Avenue, where the Apollo Theater is located, were used for triage.

In other updates on Twitter, fire and police officials said: