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Dozens rescued after cinema collapse

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posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 01:41 AM

Dozens rescued after cinema collapse

DOZENS of moviegoers have been injured after the roof of a cinema complex in central western New South Wales collapsed, police say.

Heavy rains caused the false ceiling at The Metro Cinema in Piper Street at Bathurst to break at 12.45pm (AEDT)

There were 50 people inside the cinema at the time, with "one near-miss" as a patron narrowly avoided being hit by a large piece of air-conditioning duct that fell to the ground.

Many people suffered minor head and shoulder injuries, while all were treated for cuts and abrasions, paramedics said.

The most severe case was a woman in her 30s
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posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 01:41 AM

Cinema-goers said one person who spotted the cave-in screamed loudly and most people had time to duck under their seats before the ceilings hit the ground.

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One woman told Sky News she was watching a movie when the sound of running water alerted her to danger.

"All of a sudden someone screamed and we looked up and the whole ceiling just collapsed on everybody," the woman, who was unnamed, said.

"The person screaming made everyone look up and most people managed to get on the floor between the chairs."

Bathurst resident Annastasia Burns, 32, was waiting for the movie Love and Other Drugs in cinema five to start when the ceiling collapsed.

"Rain started coming through the corner of our cinema but no-one worried too much," she said.

"Then one person went out to tell the cinema staff and when she came back the water started pouring in and the whole ceiling fell. We hit the decks under the seats straight away."

Ms Burns said she feared for the safety of her three-month-old daughter Zoe.

"The entire ceiling fell and we were stuck under it. Luckily one girl got out and pulled the wood off me. It was lucky I could shelter my baby," Ms Burns said.

"But my other girlfriend who was there was 39 weeks pregnant and she crawled out from under the seat and managed to get out."

Ms Burns said the ceiling of another cinema also collapsed.

Thirty-six people were initially trapped when the roof collapsed with emergency services using thermal imaging cameras to find them in the rubble.

A worker in a neighbouring shop said he couldn't hear the ceiling collapse because it was raining so heavily at the time.

“You could barely hear anything due to the large amount of rain coming down," said Aaron Lange, a worker at Bathurst Panthers club.

"There was enough rain in 10 to 20 minutes to collapse the roof.

"The ambulance officers brought around 40 people into our restaurant - which shares a car park with the cinema - to be assessed."

“At the moment there’s no real sense of panic outside the cinema.

"Even the large crowd that was outside has started to drift away.”

All people have been safely removed from the building, however, Police Rescue, Ambulance Paramedics, and Fire and Rescue NSW remain at the scene.

Bathurst Police Inspector, Tony Hoolahan, said police would carry out a forensic analysis of the building once it was determined structurally sound.

"We'll know more as time goes on but obviously it's something to do with this large rain event we had,'' Insp Hoolahan said.

A State Emergency Services (SES) spokeswoman said the inside of the cinema was "a mess".

"We could see the suspended ceiling sitting on top of the chairs and a lot of air-conditioning vents ... sitting on top of that," she said.

A number of roadblocks are in place, and police have asked motorists and pedestrians to avoid Piper and George Streets in Bathurst’s CBD until further notice to allow easy access for emergency service vehicles.

- With The Daily Telegraph and AAP
(visit the link for the full news article)

That is just crazy with all the heavy rain thats occuring who would have though that soemthing like a cinema ceiling would have collapsed which im guessing was concrete and rather solid. At least no one was severly injusred and every one made it out alive
edit on 3-1-2011 by q_ball because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 03:31 AM
reply to post by q_ball

I hate to admit this but some of those old cinemas are pretty darn old and should have regular inspections

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