Five weeks after ceiling collapse at Apollo Theatre, victims demand to know what went wrong

According to the ‘West End Extra’;

“VICTIMS of the Apollo Theatre ceiling collapse are demanding answers on the cause of the accident that saw chunks of wood and plaster fall onto rows of seats packed with children and young families.

Westminster Council has been criticised for delays in releasing details of an investigation that is expected to reveal “what caused the collapse” that injured 79 people at the Shaftesbury Avenue theatre five weeks ago.

Lise Martino, 46, was in the audience and received cuts and bruises, while her 12-year-old son was said to be left “completely traumatised” by the incident.

She said: “The lack of any kind of information is really worrying. We simply want answers.”

Ms Martino said the evening had left lasting effects on the family, adding: “This was supposed to be a relaxing night out before Christmas and while we feel very lucky that the consequences were not much worse, both my son and I have been completely traumatised.

“When you visit the theatre you ­never, in a million years, expect to go through the ordeal that we and other audience members faced.”

Some of those injured in the accident are now seeking “medical and ­fin­ancial support” from Nimax Theatres, who operate the Apollo.

Westminster Council said their investigation could take months.

Yesterday (Thursday), law firm Irwin Mitchell announced that they have begun their own investigation to help victims “gain both justice and access to vital answers regarding the incident which will help them in their recovery”.

Last month an expert in insuring entertainment venues said personal injury claims from the accident could add up to more than £1million.

After the incident, London Fire Brigade described how “the ornate plaster ceiling with some supporting woodwork” fell onto the audience leaving four “quite seriously injured”.

Solicitors said many victims are receiving counselling.

Family favourite The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which was being performed when the collapse happened, left the theatre days later and relocated to the neigh­bouring Gielgud Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue.

A spokesman for Zurich said: “Following the shocking incident at the Apollo theatre in December, the priority for Nimax and us has been to help those affected. Guidance and contact details have been available on Nimax’s website since shortly after the incident, and whilst we can’t discuss the specifics of any claims, we can confirm that we are proactively and sympathetically handling all claims that we have received.”

Leith Penny, Westminster Council’s head of city management, said: “Westminster City Council is continuing to investigate the collapse of part of the Apollo Theatre’s ceiling on December 19. Such investigations can take months to complete but we still have no reason to believe that this was anything other than an isolated incident.”

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