Piccadilly Theatre collapse: Multiple injuries after roof gives way during show

Theatregoers screamed in terror and a theatre in London's West End was evacuated after part of the ceiling collapsed during a show.

Audience members suffered head injuries after falling masonry crashed down onto the auditorium at Piccadilly Theatre shortly before 8pm tonight.

Witnesses described hearing screams from audience members, who had been watching a performance of Death of a Salesman.

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.

Mr George 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."

London Fire Brigade said around 1,100 were evacuated from the theatre before they arrived.

They tweeted: "Firefighters are attending the Piccadilly Theatre where a section of plaster has fallen from the ceiling during a performance. Around 1,100 people evacuated the theatre before we arrived. Contact @Ldn_Ambulance for casualty details."

The play, a classic by Arthur Miller, has opened to rave reviews. It stars The Wire star Wendell Pierce.

The Met Police tweeted: "Police on scene with LAS & LFB at Piccadilly Theatre in Denman St #Westminster after reports of a ceiling collapse around 19:59hrs.

"Everyone is out of the theatre. A few people have suffered minor injuries.

"Road closures in place. Motorists advised to use alternative routes."

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