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London's West End theaters inspected
LONDON (AP) - Authorities in London have inspected all of the city's famed West End theaters today. They're hoping to reassure theatergoers that the elegant but aging buildings are safe.
The inspections come after 79 people were hurt last night when chunks of plaster fell from the ceiling of the Apollo Theater.
The Westminster Council, the local authority for the area, says the safety inspections turned up no immediate problems.
London police say they've ruled out criminal activity as a cause of the partial ceiling collapse. Investigators are trying to find out whether a brief but intense rainstorm an hour before the incident was a factor.
Witnesses describe chaos and panic as large chunks of plaster, wooden beams and dust rained down on the audience, 45 minutes into a performance of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time."
Like many of London's West End theaters, the Apollo is more than a century old. It was built in 1901, and seats 775 people.
The building is cordoned off to the public today. Performances of the play have been canceled through January 4th.