Almost 90 people have been hurt after part of a ceiling collapsed during a show in London’s West End, according to emergency services.
The audience at the Apollo Theatre was showered with masonry and debris while watching the popular play ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’.
It happened on Thursday night, when the four-storey auditorium was packed with hundreds of people – including many families.
“My husband and I were up in the balcony about five rows from the front and then we saw two or three people get up in the front row and then very quickly the second row and the third row started getting up and rushing away,” recalled Hannah George.
“For a second I thought ‘was this part of the show’ and then we heard a creak and somebody screamed and shouted look out and then we saw part of the ceiling collapse.”
The collapse at the theatre, which is more than a century old, led to a busy area of central London being sealed off.
An investigation into what happened is now underway.
“Quite quickly we were able to establish the nature of the collapse and to confirm it’s been confined to some heavy, ornate plastering – typical of what you’d expect to find in a theatre in the West End of this age,” Graham Ellis, from London Fire Brigade, told reporters.
Investigators say it is too early to speculate on what caused the section of ceiling to come down.