Roof of London’s Piccadilly Theatre ‘collapses onto audience members during performance of Death Of A Salesman’
The roof of the Piccadilly Theatre in central London collapsed onto the audience this evening during a performance of Death Of A Salesman.
The building had to be evacuated after part of a ceiling fell onto members of the audience.
Several people suffered minor injuries after the incident in the West End and witnesses described hearing screams from nearby audience members.
Emergency services were called the theatre shortly before 8pm after part of the ceiling crashed down into the auditorium.
Part of the ceiling that came down at the Piccadilly Theatre, London, could be seen (above) during a production of Death of A Salesman tonight
The Metropolitan Police said a ‘few’ people had suffered minor injuries and that emergency services remained on scene.
Journalist Martin George, 41, who was sitting in the Grand Circle, said there were screams coming from the audience as part of the ceiling came crashing down.
The 41-year-old said: ‘About 10 minutes into the performance you could hear this slight dripping sound in the [Grand] circle and people were looking around, wondering what was happening, but the play carried on.
‘As the minutes passed, the dripping became more frequent and it sounded like more water was coming through the ceiling, causing a few people to get up and move.
‘The sound eventually got so loud that we stood up and started to leave, as we were wondering what was going to happen.
‘Then, as we stood up, this huge chunk of ceiling, about three to four metres across, crashed down.
‘There were people screaming at that point and everyone got up and streamed down the stairs.’
BBC reporter James Waterhouse tweeted: Part of the roof apparently caved in the first half of Death of a Salesman at the Piccadilly Theatre. A few screams. Everyone evacuated. Now waiting outside.’
The Met’s City of Westminster Police said on Twitter: ‘Police on scene with LAS & LFB at Piccadilly Theatre in Denman St #Westminster after reports of a ceiling collapse around 7.59pm.
‘Everyone is out of the theatre. A few people have suffered minor injuries. ‘Road closures in place. Motorists advised to use alternative routes.’