The emergency services are dealing with a serious incident at the Apollo theatre following reports the ceiling collapsed during tonight’s performance of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time at around 20:15.
The Metropolitan Police are reporting five people seriously injured and are requesting the public avoid Shaftesbury Avenue while the emergency services deal with the situation.
Many people described as “walking wounded” are being treated at the nearby Gielgud and Queen’s theatres, while ambulances have been called to assess audience and staff members affected.
The London Fire Brigade has issued the following statement:
The London Fire Brigade was called at 20:14 to reports of a collapsed ceiling at a theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in Soho.
Eight fire engines and specialist rescue vehicles were called to the scene. Over 50 firefighters are at the scene and are working with colleagues from the Met Police and London Ambulance Service.
Kingsland Station Manager Nick Harding is at the scene of the theatre incident. He said:
“We believe around 720 people were in the theatre at the time. A section of the theatre’s ceiling collapsed onto the audience who were watching the show. The ceiling took parts of the balconies down with it.
“Firefighters worked really hard in very difficult conditions and I’d like to pay tribute to them. They rescued people from the theatre, made the area safe and then helped ambulance crews with the injured.
“Specialist urban search and rescue crews were also called to the scene to make sure no one was trapped. Fortunately all those who were trapped have been rescued and treated for injuries or taken to hospital.
“A number of people were injured and ambulance crews are working hard to look after them. The latest information is that there were around 80 walking wounded, many of whom had head injuries. Around five have been taken to hospital with more serious injuries.
“In my time as a fire officer I’ve never seen an incident like this. I imagine lots of people were out enjoying the show in the run-up to Christmas. My thoughts go out to all those affected.”
An estimated 720 people were in the venue at the time of the collapse.