Police and building technicians were investigating what caused portions of the ceiling at Oslo’s popular Sentrum Scene concert hall and theater to collapse on Sunday. Preliminary results indicated that a motor used to raise heavy lighting equipment over the stage had collided with the ceiling.
Portions of it began to fall down on college students gathered at Sentrum Scene for one of many social events tied to the start of the school year. Chaos ensued as they scrambled to get out of the way, and 15 of the roughly 1,800 attending the event were injured.
The concert hall was evacuated and the area around it cordoned off when emergency vehicles responded to the accident. Fire alarms began ringing almost as soon as pieces of the ceiling started raining down on those below.
“It looks like the reason for the accident is complicated, but the investigation will determine the cause,” Rune Bjørvik of the Oslo Police told news bureau NTB. He said it appeared to be related to the construction of the building and that it was unlikely Sentrum Scene’s management would be held responsible. They’ve been putting on concerts at the site for several decades, often featuring internationally known artists. DJ Steve Aoki was performing on Sunday and reported on social media that he was “saddened and shocked” by the accident.