Part of the roof of the Apollo Theatre recently collapsed, during a showing of the Curious Incident Of The Dog in the Night-Time. The number of individuals reported injured continues to soar, as emergency medical teams attend to the wounds sustained by theater-goers.
A spokesperson claims the theatre to have been almost at full capacity, with 720 spectators believed to have been watching the show.
An eyewitness reported hearing a “cracking” noise, before the roof collapsed, covering audience members in debris and dust.
The London Ambulance claims there are 81 walking wounded, many of whom were treated for “minor injuries.” However, seven people have sustained more serious wounds and were, subsequently, transported to hospitals across central London. In light of the latest events, the University College Hospital enacted its major incident program, as victims were moved to the building.
According to recent Twitter feeds released by the Metropolitan Police, 25 ambulance crews, 12 officers, and members of the hazardous area response team, were dispatched to London’s bustling West End theatre district.
Members of the ambulance service originally responded to emergency calls, following reports of a balcony collapse. The London Fire Brigade claims that part of the roof caved in, pulling down part of a lighting rig. Eyewitnesses report sizable chunks of plaster and debris descending from the roof and falling into the center stalls of the theatre, below.
Thus far, no fatalities have been reported, and all those trapped during the incident have been freed. A number of those injured have been moved to the nearby Gielgud Theatre – a structure originally designed by W.G.R. Sprague, in 1906, at the corner of Rupert Street. The BBC News claims that police officers commandeered a London bus, which was employed to ferry an unspecified number of the injured to hospital.
A Kenyan eyewitness, visiting the U.K., claims that emergency services arrived on scene within mere minutes; likewise, it is said the area was cordoned off within a timeframe of 10 minutes, preventing access to the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.
British Journalist Simon Usborne, who works for The Independent, was also watching the show, along with his partner. Usborne describes witnessing a “… vast, falling curtain of debris,” prompting an immediate evacuation of members of the theatre. Talking to Sky News, Usborne briefly talked about some of the injuries he had observed, stating “There are a lot of people with blood on their faces.”
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted about the incident, offering his gratitude to the emergency services for their swift handling of the situation:
“I’ve been updated regularly on the Apollo incident. I’m grateful for the fast work of the emergency services in helping the injured.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for London Mayor Boris Johnson said he had been in contact with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and was coordinating efforts with the appropriate agencies; he then went on to offer his “thoughts and prayers” to those involved in the chaotic event.
The Curious Incident Of The Dog in the Night-Time is an enormously popular theatrical adaptation of the best-selling novel, written by British writer Mark Haddon, and has been showcased since Aug., 2012. None of the cast or crew are thought to have been hurt, following the partial collapse of the Apollo Theatre’s roof.
Meanwhile, the exact reason for the partial collapse of the Apollo Theatre roof is yet to be determined.
By James Fenner