Apollo Theatre Collapse In London Leaves Dozens Injured

A balcony in the Apollo Theatre collapsed in London on Thursday, leaving dozens injured, seven of which were seriously hurt.

A house packed with theatergoers in London’s West End was supposed to be enjoying the hugely popular mystery The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. Instead, one of the balconies in the historic Apollo Theatre collapsed, trapping dozens of members in the audience.

Initial reports suggested anywhere between 75 and 95 people had been injured. However, the numbers have since been adjusted to 76 “walking injured” and seven seriously injured.

Shortly after 8 pm, 40 minutes into the play, the audience at the Apollo Theatre experienced something they won’t soon forget. One of of the balconies collapsed five stories, bringing heavy plaster crashing down on those seated below.

“One of the actors said, ‘Watch out!'” an eyewitness said. “We thought it was part of the play.”

But it wasn’t. In an instant, those attending the play at the Apollo Theatre found themselves a part in the middle of a collapse.

Another witness said they heard a creaking sound seconds before the collapse of the balcony. Thankfully, it wasn’t everyone for themselves.

“It wasn’t every man for himself,” the woman said and added that several of her fellow theatergoers checked on those around them. “Everyone was looking out for each other, and in a couple of minutes, everyone was out.”

The London Fire Brigade manager called to the scene says there were 720 people inside the Apollo Theatre at the time of the collapse.

“You initially thought it was part of the play and then you could feel things on you,” said an older woman. “The dust that came down -you couldn’t see in front of you.”

Even though officials say none of the injuries appears to be life threatening, those more seriously wounded have been taken to area hospitals.

Martin Bostock, who was attending the play at the Apollo Theatre withhis wife, and two children thought the cave-in was part of the show until something very hard hit him on the head, followed by chaos and panic.

“You couldn’t see across the room because of the dust, which we were all breathing in,” he told CNN. “It was absolutely horrific and very terrifying. I was with my wife and two kids. Thank God, we got out.”

Within an hour, authorities say the collapsed Apollo Theatre was evacuated, and first responders were on the scene and had cordoned off the street adjacent to the theater house.

The Apollo Theatre is located near Picadilly Circus in London’s Soho District, a busy tourist destination usually packed with shoppers and diners.

“There is no suggestion at this stage that this was as a result of a criminal act, however, at this stage we are keeping an open mind,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement about the Apollo Theatre collapse.

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