LONDON

- Hunks of plaster and dust rained down on a packed audience when the ceiling of a London theater partially collapsed last night. More than 75 people were injured - seven seriously, authorities said.

The collapse at the Apollo Theatre took place about 8:15 p.m. during a performance of "The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time" at the height of the Christmas holiday season. Plaster and masonry from a section of the ceiling tumbled down, bringing parts of the theater's balconies down with it onto the audience, police said.

More than 700 people were in the theater at the time, according to the London Fire Brigade.

Officials said most of the injured were "walking wounded" with upper-body injuries, and that all are conscious and breathing.

Police and fire officials said it was too early to say what had caused the partial collapse of the ceiling, but that a full investigation is being carried out.

Injuries ranged from head wounds to cuts and scrapes to breathing problems.

The Apollo Theatre, named for the Greek and Roman god of music and the arts, was built in 1901 and has 775 seats.