The audience who had come to watch the show “Death Of A Salesman were taken by surprise when a part of the ceiling collapsed into the auditorium. The incident happened shortly before 8 PM at the Piccadilly Theatre in the West End of London. It led to injuries to a section of the audience and fortunately, the injuries were minor in nature. The show had just started when the ceiling above gave way and there was pandemonium. Everyone was taken in by the suddenness of the incident and it took the authorities some time to quieten things down. There was an obvious panic situation all around and those in charge took prompt action to arrange evacuation of the people present.

The Guardian says paramedics at the scene treated the injured who had suffered minor injuries from the debris that descended on them from above. Some were shifted to a local hospital and were released after necessary treatment while a few did not agree for any treatment at the scene. London fire brigade said - “Around 1,100 people evacuated the theatre before we arrived.”

Witness mentions about falling water

A witness who was sitting in the grand circle makes a mention of sounds of water dripping.

He says few minutes after the performance began, there were sounds of dripping water. The intensity of the sound kept increasing and water began to drip on the people. It forced some of them to leave their seats and suddenly the ceiling came down. The authorities must investigate the collapse, which could have been more serious.

This is not the first case of roof collapse in a theater. In 2013, a similar incident happened in Apollo Theatre at Shaftesbury Avenue. There were 700 people watching a show and 80 of them suffered injuries when the ceiling collapsed.

The Guardian adds the Piccadilly Theatre was showing Arthur Miller’s play “Death of a Salesman.” Wendell Pierce was portraying the role of Willy Loman.

Pierce was shocked at the events and thanked the crowd outside the theatre. He said –“We are so honoured that you came tonight. We are so sorry that unfortunately this happened.” The Metropolitan police confirmed about road closures around the theatre and advised motorists to follow alternate routes.

The matter needs investigation

According to BBC, the show opened only on Monday and the incident in the Piccadilly theatre was most unexpected. Wendell Pierce, the US actor who plays Willy Loman in the show, offered apologies to those who were evacuated. It seems outside the theatre, including on the roof, there was some construction work going on related to scaffolding and building. That could have been a possible factor. Hence, the matter needs thorough investigation. Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has not yet disclosed when the venue will reopen and whether any shows or ticket-holders will be affected.