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Birmingham Rep evacuated following explosion in theatre

Birmingham Rep. Photo: Andy Mabbett
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This story was updated on February 14 at 15.30pm to reflect a new statement from the theatre.

Birmingham Rep was forced to evacuate theatregoers at the venue after an explosion in the theatre.

The incident occurred at about 8pm on February 13, when a performance of Brief Encounter was taking place.

According to the theatre, the explosion was caused by a “technical fault”, with reports claiming the blast took place in the theatre’s boiler room, within the venue’s basement.

In a statement, the theatre said: “We can confirm there was a technical fault this evening (February 13) and the theatre was evacuated as a precautionary measure. We’re pleased to report there were no injuries. Many thanks to the emergency services for their help.”

It later added to this, stating that it was  investigating the cause of the ‘technical fault with the combined heat and power plant located beneath the theatre’.

it said the theatre would be open as usual on February 14, but said it was currently without heating and hot water. This means the restaurant and the bar will be closed, it said.

The theatre said it was possible its  toilets would also be closed.

“Free bottles of water will be given out and bar and toilet facilities are being made available to our customers next door at Symphony Hall and the ICC,” it said.

West Midlands Police tweeted about the incident as it unfolded, warning people to stay away from the area and reporting that there were many “scared people”.

It later reported that there had been no reports of casualties and that evacuated theatregoers were being looked after at another venue.

One theatregoer described hearing a “loud bang” during the show, before the theatre’s alarm went off and people were evacuated.

Another described it as a “scary evening”.