Several people were injured when parts of a ceiling collapsed during a Piccadilly Theatre show in London’s West End.
The venue in Denman Street was packed on Wednesday for a performance of the Arthur Miller play Death of a Salesman, starring US actor Wendell Pierce.
Audience members “heard dripping sounds indicating water was coming through the ceiling,” according to the theatre production company.
More than 1,000 people were evacuated.
Four people were taken to hospital after three men and two women were treated at the scene by paramedics.
“We are ascertaining the extent of the situation, and will be providing an update on future performances as soon as possible,” the Ambassador Theatre Group said.
The group said Thursday’s showing would be cancelled.
Wendell Pierce, who plays Willy Loman in the show which opened on Monday, apologised for having to stop the performance and evacuate the theatre.
A video shared on social media shows the US actor outside the venue asking the crowd to come back and see the play another time.
“We’re so honoured that you came tonight. We are so sorry that this happened,” he said.
BBC journalist Iain Haddow, who was in the audience, said the collapse happened about 20 minutes into the show.
He said that before the ceiling caved in there had been a steady drop of water “which turned progressively into a stream” – although it was not raining at the time – and said there was some panic when the ceiling fell in.
He said that outside the theatre there was scaffolding and building work going on.
In December 2013, 76 people were injured, seven seriously, when part of a ceiling at London’s Apollo Theatre collapsed during a show, while 1,200 people had to leave the Queen’s Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue, following a small fire during a matinee performance of Les Miserables.
Queen drummer Roger Taylor and DJ Paul Oakenfold are among those who will oversee a new Music Walk of Fame, its organisers have announced.
The project will see the biggest musicians in the world being commemorated with flagstones along a walk in Camden Town, north London.
It will follow the style of the famous Hollywood Walk Of Fame, with the first plaque being unveiled on 19 November.
Rapper Kurtis Blow and The Libertines’ Carl Barât are also on the committee.
Others who will also decide which stars will feature include rock photographer Jill Furmanovsky, Food Records label boss Andy Ross and Chris McCormack of Camden Rocks.
Music promoter Lee Bennett, who previously spoke about the idea in 2013, said he was “overjoyed” to see it coming to fruition.
“We see this as a seminal moment for the music industry,” he said.
London’s deputy mayor for culture and the creative industries, Justine Simons, said “Camden’s legendary venues” meant it was an ideal place “to celebrate the musicians who have such an impact on all our lives”.
Organisers plan to unveil over 500 commemorative stones over the next two decades.
A murder investigation has been launched after the discovery of a woman’s body in south-east London.
Police were called to an address on McMillan Street in Deptford on Monday morning after concerns were raised about the welfare of a resident.
The body of Zoe Orton, 46, was found by officers.
A post-mortem examination which was held on Tuesday found the cause of Ms Orton’s death was “neck compression”, according to police.
Her next-of-kin have been informed.
No arrests have been made as yet and police are appealing for witnesses.
Knife crime in England and Wales has increased again, according to the latest figures from police forces.
In the 12 months to the end of June 2019, knife crime offences rose by 7%, reaching a record high.
But the picture on knife crime is mixed – with a fall in the number of homicides related to knife crime.
The data, from the Office for National Statistics, also found a 11% rise in the number of recorded robberies, while fraud offences went up by 15%.
According to the ONS, which published its latest figures on Thursday, the number of offences involving a knife or sharp instrument increased from just over 41,000 in the year to June 2018 to just over 44,000 in the last 12 months.
The knife crime figures do not include Greater Manchester Police, which records data differently.
It marks a new record level since 2011, the year that knife crime statistics started to be gathered in a unified way.
But the ONS added: “The number of homicides where a knife or sharp instrument was involved decreased by 14%.
“This decrease was mainly driven by falls in London.
“There is a mixed picture in the total number of offences involving knifes or sharp instruments across different police force areas, with the Metropolitan Police recording little change in the last year.”
The total number of homicides recorded by the police also fell by 5% in the last year, from 719 to 681 offences.
More bank and credit account fraud
Meanwhile, a separate Crime Survey for England and Wales, which includes offences that are not reported to police, indicated a continuing rise in fraud.
The survey’s latest estimates show a 15% increase in fraud offences, driven by a 17% rise in “bank and credit account fraud”.
It said there were 3,863,000 fraud offences in the year to June.
Almost 2.7m of those were bank and credit account fraud offences, up from 2.3m the previous year.
But the survey, which measures people’s experience of crime, found fewer than one in six incidents of fraud were reported by the victim to the police or Action Fraud in the last 12 months ending March 2019.
Click here to take part in a short study about this article run by the University of Cambridge.
Where do crime figures come from?
The ONS figures include two sources of data: Home Office statistics about crimes recorded by police; and also the Crime Survey for England and Wales, which asks people about their experiences of crime.
On its own, police recorded crime is not seen as a complete picture of crime in England and Wales.
The crime survey provides an estimate of crimes that may either have not been recorded by police or may never have been reported to them in the first place.
The crime survey selects about 50,000 households at random from the Royal Mail’s list of addresses.
Read more: How accurate are police crime figures?
Meanwhile, separately, other Home Office data shows the number of crimes solved across England and Wales has fallen to another record low.
Figures show just 7.4% of crimes in the 12 months to the end of June resulted in a suspect being charged or ordered to appear in court.
The previous year the figure was 8.7%, and the figure in the 12 months to March 2019 was 7.8%.
Two of the so-called “IS Beatles” have been taken out of Syria to “a secure location controlled by the US”, President Donald Trump has said.
El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey are accused of being part of an Islamic State group cell which kidnapped and murdered Western hostages in Syria.
The pair – who are from London – are in the custody of the American military, according to US media reports.
In a tweet, Mr Trump described them as “the worst of the worst”.
He said the decision to remove them from Syria had been taken “in case the Kurds or Turkey lose control”.
The announcement comes after the US withdrew its forces from the region this week.
On Wednesday President Trump told reporters the US had transferred “some of the most dangerous IS fighters” amid fears they could escape custody as Turkish troops invade Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria.
The Kurds – who helped defeat IS in Syria and were key US allies in that fight – guard thousands of IS fighters and their relatives in prisons and camps in areas under their control. It is unclear whether they will continue to do so if fighting breaks out.
Other members of the IS cell – dubbed “The Beatles” because of their British accents – included Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, who was killed in a US air strike in 2015, and Aine Davis, who has been jailed in Turkey.
Emwazi is thought to have killed US journalist James Foley in 2014.
All four were radicalised in the UK before travelling to Syria. Elsheikh and Kotey have since been stripped of their British citizenship.
The pair are designated as terrorists by the US State Department, which links them to the group’s executions and “exceptionally cruel torture methods” including electric shocks, waterboarding and mock executions.
They were said to have been captured by Kurdish forces in January 2018.
The New York Times reports the US is planning to take Elsheikh and Kotey to Virginia – one of the few states that still carries out the death penalty – where they will be put on trial.
However, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said they should “come home to face justice”.
A Home Office spokesperson said “it would be inappropriate to comment whilst legal proceedings are ongoing”.
It remains to be seen whether the evidence against the pair amassed by British investigators will be handed over in full to US authorities.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May, when she was home secretary in 2015, told Washington the UK would only hand over evidence after receiving a categorical guarantee that neither man would be executed.
The UK has long sought and obtained such a death penalty assurance from the US.
That position was reiterated by Mrs May’s successor, Amber Rudd, but then reversed after Sajid Javid entered the Home Office in April 2018.
Mr Javid decided to hand over 600 witness statements, without seeking any kind of guarantee that Elsheikh and Kotey would not be put to death.
Elsheikh’s mother, Maha Elgizouli challenged the decision but, in January, lost that case in the High Court.
The issue is currently being decided by the UK Supreme Court.
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A man stabbed to death at a London Underground station was a football fan on his way to a match, the BBC has been told.
The Arsenal supporter was killed in an “unprovoked attack” on the platform at Hillingdon station on Tuesday.
He had been on his way to the Emirates Stadium to see the Gunners face Nottingham Forest in the third round of the Carabao Cup, a source said.
It is the third murder investigation on the Tube network this year.
No arrests have been made over the attack, which Det Supt Gary Richardson described as “a shocking act of violence”.
He said the British Transport Police (BTP) investigation was in its “early stages”.
“We believe a group of young men were involved in an altercation on the platform before one of the men received a fatal stab wound,” he said.
Police were called to the station in west London shortly before 16:00 BST and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Danielle Foster, who was driving past Hillingdon station at the time of the stabbing, said upon “hearing so many sirens, I knew something terrible had happened”.
“Lots of people were being turned away from the station as it had been closed,” she said, adding: “Then the police helicopter began circling the scene.”
Hillingdon station was closed by Transport for London (TfL) while police searched the area.
The station has since reopened.
So far in 2019 more than 110 murder investigations have been launched across London by the Metropolitan Police and BTP.
Commuters have been told not to travel from London Waterloo during the rush hour after a fire closed nine platforms.
The lineside blaze damaged cabling outside the station, meaning trains cannot use platforms 16-24.
Network Rail said “significant damage” had been caused to equipment, meaning trains will be delayed or cancelled.
Disruption is expected for the rest of the day while the Thursday morning rush hour may also be affected.
Network Rail said its engineers would be working through the night to fix the damage.
Waterloo is the busiest and largest railway station in the UK.
The platforms which are closed are normally used by trains serving Windsor, Reading, Hounslow, Richmond and Kingston.
However, services from other platforms are also being affected because trains have to be diverted or revised.
- Circular services via Hounslow, Richmond, Strawberry Hill and Kingston have been cancelled
- Trains between Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside are diverted via Kingston
- Trains between Waterloo and Exeter/Salisbury are terminated and will restart from Basingstoke
Passengers were warned that services on other routes may also be subject to short-notice cancellations or delays.
In a joint statement, Network Rail and South Western Railway said commuters were “strongly advised to use alternative routes where possible and check their journeys before travelling at southwesternrailway.com for ticket acceptance and service details”.
Some passengers took to social media to express their frustration at the travel disruption.
One Twitter user described the situation as an “absolute shambles”, while others complained about being given the wrong or no information at all by train station staff.
|Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff (day two):|
|Middlesex 384 Malan 166; Carey 4-54 & 189-5 Robson 73*, Simpson 56|
|Glamorgan 171 Lloyd 67; Helm 5-53, Roland-Jones 4-45|
|Middlesex (7 pts) lead Glamorgan (3 pts) by 402 runs|
Middlesex have a formidable lead of 402 over Glamorgan at 189-5 in their second innings, going into day three in Cardiff.
Sam Robson (73*) and John Simpson (56) have strengthened the visitors’ grip.
Toby Roland-Jones (4-45) made the most of a helpful pitch as Glamorgan were hustled out for an inadequate 171.
David Lloyd’s 67 was the top home score, while Tom Helm (5-53) wrapped up the innings with his fifth wicket after his first-evening purple patch.
Lloyd shared half-century stands with Billy Root and Chris Cooke before the visitors’ seamers re-established control, as Glamorgan’s last five wickets mustered just 28 runs.
A lead of 213 runs was not enough to persuade Dawid Malan to enforce the follow-on, wanting to avoid batting last on the most bowler-friendly Championship pitch of the season in Cardiff.
Although Middlesex slumped to 85-4, they were never under pressure thanks to their first-innings lead, and the Robson-Simpson century partnership blossomed in the evening sunshine to grind down Glamorgan hopes of avoiding a first defeat of the campaign.
Glamorgan vice-captain David Lloyd told BBC Sport Wales:
“A very difficult day, they hit their lengths more regularly than we did, then we started well with the ball in the second dig but it’s always tough when you’re chasing the game.
“It’s a wicket where you have to be positive and get forward because it’s starting to go more up and down- it’s about looking to score rather than sit there and wait for things to happen.
“We’ve showed in previous games that we can battle draws out so you never know, we’ll have to try to bat the rest of the game and we can do it if we get our mindsets right.”
Middlesex bowler Tom Helm told BBC Radio London:
“It took a bit longer to get the fifth one than I had in my head last night, but Toby had four and I’m very happy with it.
“If you get the ball in the right area, the odd one zips through and it changed a bit from day one.
“There’s so long left in this game, we can bat for as long as we want and it’ll be interesting to see how the morning goes, they’ll come out fired up but we’ll see how we go.”
A woman riding an electric scooter has been killed in a crash with a lorry in south-west London.
The 35-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene at the Queen Circus roundabout, Battersea following the crash at about 08:30 BST.
A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said her next of kin had yet to be informed and no arrests had been made.
In July last year a cyclist was killed at the roundabout after being hit by a bin lorry.
A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “We sent an advanced paramedic, two ambulance crews, an incident response officer and two medics in cars to the scene, with the first of our medics arriving in under four minutes.
“Sadly, despite the extensive efforts of medics, a woman died at the scene.”
Transport for London and Wandsworth Council redesigned the roundabout in 2015, which trialled the use of raised kerbs and separate traffic lights to keep cyclists and vehicles segregated at junctions.
Concerns had been raised that the new layout was too complicated.
While the cause of the crash is unknown, e-scooters are illegal to ride on public roads, including in cycle lanes or on the pavement.
A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “We extend our deepest sympathies to all those involved in this tragic incident, and fully support the police as they carry out their investigations.
“Safety is at the heart of all our road laws and it is important that retailers continue to remind people at the point of sale that it is illegal to ride e-scooters on public roads.”
An electric scooter, or e-scooter, is similar to a traditional children’s scooter but has a motorised engine attached.
An engineering train has derailed in south London causing the closure of the Gatwick Express service.
The train partly left the tracks at low speed outside Victoria station at about 03:00 BST.
No Gatwick Express trains are running, while Southern warned its services would be “severely reduced”.
The train has moved and the track will now be “assessed for damage” and repaired if necessary through the night, according to Southern.
Disruption is expected to last throughout Tuesday but Gatwick Express and Southern said a normal service was expected on Wednesday.
The train was stuck across a number of tracks meaning platforms nine to 13 at Victoria were blocked, while services were not able to use the “slow/stopping” lines to and from Clapham Junction.
Some trains were also unable to leave the Battersea depot – further reducing the number of services that could run.
Recovery teams cut the 50-tonne train from its two wagons and lifted it back on to the track using hydraulic jacks.
Trains running through Gatwick Airport were also disrupted by a separate signalling fault and a passenger who was injured as they left a carriage, which led to one platform becoming blocked.
Some commuters took to social media as they found their trains had been cancelled.
Other stations, including London Bridge, also became congested as people tried to find alternative routes.
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A Network Rail spokesperson said passengers should travel “via London Bridge or London Blackfriars as trains will be delayed, diverted or cancelled”.
Train tickets for Southern and Gatwick Express services have been accepted for reasonable routes on other services.
Train services affected:
- Gatwick Express services are completely suspended
- Services to Sutton, Epsom Downs and Epsom to and from London Victoria are reduced
- Some mainline services will be diverted to London Bridge instead of London Victoria
- Southern services between London Victoria and Reigate are cancelled and passengers are advised to use Thameslink to and from Redhill and then Great Western Railway between Reigate and Redhill
- Services between London Victoria and East Grinstead will call additionally at Selhurst and Streatham Common
- Services between Milton Keynes and East Croydon will call additionally at Wandsworth Common when not already booked to do so
- Services between London Victoria and Horsham via Sutton will call additionally at Ewell East
- Southern trains from Sutton to London Bridge via Wimbledon will be cancelled. Thameslink will be running as normal
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