Several people have been hurt after part of a ceiling collapsed at a theatre in London’s West End.
Emergency services were called just before 8pm following the incident during a performance of Death of a Salesman at the Piccadilly Theatre.
A picture from the scene showed a large hole in the ceiling about three or four metres wide, with wires protruding in the middle of it.
Witnesses reported there had been a “slight dripping sound” and “running water” followed by “lots of screams” from audience members as a section of the ceiling came crashing down.
The production features Hollywood actor Wendell Pierce and one witness, Tracy De Groose, said the star came out to check everyone was okay. The theatre was later evacuated.
She tweeted: “Roof collapsed in Piccadilly Theatre tonight during performance of Death of a Salesman. Running water, then lots of screams. A few minor injuries.
“Thank you @WendellPierce for coming out to check everyone safe. Decent human beings do exist!”
Journalist Martin George, 41, who was sitting in the grand circle, 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.”
Another witness praised the ushers for the swift evacuation of the building.
Chris Rogers tweeted: A big shout out to the ushers at the @TeamPiccadilly theatre from me, an usher at @oldvictheatre. They were super quick and organised to evacuate and very informative. They said they think people are alright by the way.”
Police said everyone had left the theatre and a few had minor injuries.
The Met’s City of Westminster Police said on Twitter: “Police on scene with LAS & LFB at Piccadilly Theatre in Denman St #Westminster after reports of a ceiling collapse around 7:59pm.
“Everyone is out of the theatre. A few people have suffered minor injuries.
“Road closures in place. Motorists advised to use alternative routes.”