07 November 2019 00:31
Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Actor Wendell Pierce apologised for the roof collapse Several people have been injured in a roof collapse during a show at the Piccadilly Theatre in London's West End. The venue in Denman Street was packed for a performance of the Arthur Miller play Death of a Salesman. Screaming was heard from the circle when the partial ceiling collapse happened just before 20:00 GMT. Some theatre-goers left covered in debris. Over 1,000 people have been evacuated from the venue, the Met Police said. Image copyright PA Media Image caption Rescue units were sent to the theatre by London Fire Brigade after the collapse The force said the casualties suffered minor injuries.
Wendell Pierce, who plays Willy Loman in the show - which only opened on Monday - apologised to those who had been evacuated. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Wendell Pierce with Dominic West, his co-star from acclaimed crime drama The Wire, at the play's opening night on Monday A video shared on social media shows the US actor outside the theatre asking the crowd to come back and see the play another time. "We're so honoured that you came tonight. We are so sorry that this happened," he said. BBC journalist Iain Haddow, who was in the audience, said the collapse happened about 20 minutes into the show. Skip Twitter post by @laurakatejones So I was at the theatre tonight to see Death of a Salesman at the Piccadilly Theatre when the ceiling fell in only 20 mins into the show. People running and screaming to get out. Truly terrifying. pic.twitter.com/qgq85iY23a — Laura Kate Jones (@laurakatejones) November 6, 2019 Report He said that before the collapse there had been a steady drop of water "which turned progressively into a stream" - although it was not raining at the time - and said there was some panic when the ceiling fell in. Outside the theatre, including on the roof, he said there was scaffolding and building work going on. In December 2013, 76 people were injured, seven seriously, when part of a ceiling at London's Apollo Theatre collapsed during a show. Skip Twitter post by @TJ_SC Ceiling came down half way through performance of death of a salesman at the #Piccadilly#theatre. Started with some dripping that increased in rate until it all caved in. pic.twitter.com/ZuoRmszrmZ — Theo Carter (@TJ_SC) November 6, 2019 Report London Fire Brigade said three fire engines and three rescue units were at the scene on Denman Street and investigations were taking place. Police added that road closures have been put in place and advised motorists to use alternative routes.