On the Hill

Tile falls from ceiling at Westcott Theater show; at least 3 injured

A ceiling tile at the Westcott Theater collapsed early Wednesday morning, injuring multiple attendees at a Dada Life concert.

The exact number of individuals injured remains unknown as of press time, but an administrative supervisor at Upstate University Hospital said three people had come in from the theater. Their conditions were unknown.

Shawn Harmon, an administrative supervisor at Crouse Hospital, said the hospital had not heard about the collapse of the ceiling and had no information about any injuries.

The Syracuse Police Department and an employee at the Westcott Theater both declined to comment.

Richie Calabro, one of the three concertgoers taken to University Hospital, suffered two or three cuts on his head, which had to be stapled, he said in a phone interview early Wednesday morning.

Calabro, a senior broadcast and digital journalism major, said he and his friends were leaving the theater about 10 minutes before the end of the show when something crashed down on top of them.

He estimated six to eight people were injured.

“At first you thought it was someone crowd surfing,” he said. “Then I realized it was way too hard of a crash.”

Calabro said he put his hands over his face, which was covered in blood, ran up to the bar and told people he needed help. He applied pressure to his head with a shirt and was then taken by the fire department and an ambulance to University Hospital.

Anthony Dragona, a junior sport management major, also attended the concert and witnessed the ceiling collapse toward the end of the show.

“Everybody knew the concert was coming to a close. We were just enjoying what was left,” he said. “I didn’t see anything until people started moving from the front to the exit. Then I saw people on the floor covered in blood, holding their heads.”

Several concertgoers tried to exit out the side door, which is traditionally used by the artists, but were blocked by a bouncer. The attendees were eventually able to force their way out, Dragona said.

Dragona also said he had to ask a Westcott Theater staff member to get the first-aid kit from inside the theater.

The Westcott opened as an independent movie house in 1919, and was formerly known as the Westcott Cinema until its transformation into a theater in September 2008.

Dada Life was originally supposed to open at the OnCenter for electronic dance music disk jockey Tiesto on Tuesday. Tiesto had to postpone all of his October concert dates due to a back injury, and Dada Life’s performance moved to The Westcott Theater.

The Westcott Theater has concerts scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

Dada Life tweeted about the collapse of the roof from its Twitter account, @dadalife.

The tweet read: “We literally brought the roof down, so they shut us down early and we didn’t have time to play Feed The Dada. Hope everyone is OK!”

— Asst. News Editor Casey Fabris contributed reporting to this article.


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