London’s Apollo Theatre Ceiling Collapses
The ceiling of Apollo Theatre in London partially collapsed on Thursday night, having plaster, wood and dust falling on the packed audiences present. More than 80 people were injured and at least seven seriously and several were trapped theatre-goers had to be rescued according to the authorities.
The collapse of the theatre took place at 8.15pm during the performance of “The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time”. As the ceiling collapsed plaster from a section of the ceiling tumbled down, bringing parts of the theatre’s balconies with it. According to the London fire department at the time of the collapse there were over 700 people were present in the theatre at the time.
London had been hit by a heavy thunderstorm at about 7 pm which was an hour before the collapse, however a fire brigade commander, Brian Reardon, said that he did not believe a lightning strike caused the ceiling to collapse but added that the cause of the collapse would remain unknown until a full investigation was carried out.
One of the audience members, Martin Bostock who had come with his family to see the show based on the bestselling novel by Mark Haddon said that there was “complete chaos” blowing over as debris showered down. Bostock told Skynews that at first, he had thought that it was part of the show until he got hit on the head. Scott Daniels, an American tourist who was also in the audience said that he started hearing noises and screams, before huge blocks of plaster started raining down. Like Bostock, Daniels also thought that it was part of the play. Daniels told The Associated Press, “a lot of action and dialogue was happening at the same time on stage, but then when the lights went out and everything filled with dust everybody was coughing and choking.”
Emergency workers treated the injured audiences outside the Apollo and at a theater nearby.
London’s Ambulance Service said it treated 88 patients, 81 of whom were with minor injuries and seven who had more serious injuries were taken to nearby hospitals. The injuries were not life threatening. One of the London city buses carried many of the injured victims to the hospital. All members of the audiences were rescued.
Prime Minister David Cameron praised the city’s emergency services who were on the scene immediately and for their fast work in helping the injured.