London's Apollo Theater Balcony Collapses On Audience, 88 Reported Injured

On Thursday evening in London, United Kingdom, part of a balcony collapsed at the Apollo Theater as audience members were watching a show. London's ambulance service suggests that there could be as many as 88 people hurt, and seven people are reported seriously injured. The incident occurred during the peak of Christmas theater season, during a performance of adapted novel The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time.

A rescue operation is underway, and rescue workers have now freed everyone initially trapped under the wreckage. At least eight fire trucks are waiting outside the theater, and Twitter photographs showed people being carried from the theater in ambulances.

Halfway through the first half of the performance, eyewitnesses said that the balcony had begun to creak — but audience members believed it to be part of the show. Police have cordoned off the area around the theater. The London ambulance service said they were treating about 30 people, some who were up and walking but wounded. That number was later raised to roughly 80 people.

An hour before, London saw a freak thunderstorm, but it's unknown if the sudden onset of rain was in any way related to the incident.