The ceiling of a packed London theater came down on scores of people, injuring dozens, with four reported as critically injured. The Apollo Theater, an icon in London, was nearly at a packed house when a crease in the ceiling developed and slowly buckled into the roof collapsing, according to CNN on Dec. 19.
The performance was noisy, so when people first started hearing the loud sound of the ceiling collapsing, many thought the noise was part of the show. Screams and tons of debris quickly put the realistic picture into place.
Nick Harding, London Fire Brigade’s Kingsland Station Manager reports that the 775-seat Apollo had 720 people inside when a section of the ceiling collapsed taking the balconies with it. Harding put a number on the “walking wounded” at 81.
When the ceiling first started to go, “everyone was looking at each other,” but seeing the debris falling prompted everyone to get out, said one theater goer. The collapse happened at about 8:15 p.m. Thursday. One person who was inside when the ceiling gave away told CNN, "You couldn't see across the room because of the dust, which we were all breathing in."
People were at the Apollo watching “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” described as “a thrilling new stage play from the National Theater.” The Apollo first opened its doors in 1901 and it has been an icon of London since that day.