Wardrobe Department malfunction sparked theatre evacuation

The Millennium Forum in Derry. (Google Earth)
The Millennium Forum in Derry. (Google Earth)
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A major evacuation of the Millennium Forum in Derry on Wednesday evening was sparked by a problem backstage in the Wardrobe Department, it has been confirmed.

Hundreds of people attending a performance of the Forum’s festive panto Cinderella were ushered out of the building following the discovery of carbon monoxide.

A spokesperson for the Forum confirmed that the issue has been dealt with and that performances scheduled for today are going ahead as normal.

She said: “Last night, a technical problem was detected backstage at approximately 7.30pm in our Wardrobe Dept.

“The Fire Service was contacted immediately and, for the safety of customers and staff, it was decided that evacuation of the Forum was required.

“Forum staff evacuated the auditorium in an orderly and efficient manner and the performance of Cinderella was cancelled in the interest of audience safety.”

She added: “No damage was incurred to the Forum and no one was injured in the incident.

“The Forum wishes to apologise to all customers affected. Box Office staff will be in contact with regards to refunds or alternative performances.”

Two Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service appliances from Northland Road Fire Station and three from Crescent Link Fire Station attended the scene on Wednesday evening, while the PSNI cordoned off the immediate area around the Forum.

Fire-fighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building and using a gas monitor, confirmed the presence of Carbon Monoxide in an area of the building.

Once the source was identified, the area was ventilated and the incident wrapped up at 10.05pm.