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First Avenue Ceiling Collapses During Theory of a Deadman Show in Minneapolis

Ceiling Collapse Halts Concert at Legendary Club 1:26

Part of the ceiling collapsed during a concert at a famed Minneapolis club on Wednesday night, sending at least two people to the hospital.

Canadian rock band Theory of a Deadman were playing a set at local landmark First Avenue — featured heavily in Prince's "Purple Rain" — when a portion of the ceiling fell at around 10:15 p.m. local time (11:15 p.m. ET).

Concertgoer Ben Strumberger told NBC News he was standing in front of the soundboard when he felt a railing begin to shake.

"The band quit playing and everyone turned around," he said. "There was a ceiling piece laying on the floor."

Michaela Libersky was further back in the venue when the ceiling came down — with one piece landing just "10-15 feet" away.

Ceiling Collapses at First Avenue in Minneapolis 0:22

"It was so scary," she told NBC News. "I'm just so glad that no one in our group got hurt."

Both she and Strumberger said it appeared a water pipe had been broken.

"You could see water just pouring out," Libersky said, adding that she had seen two people taken out on stretchers from the venue.

The Minneapolis Fire Department said three to four people were hurt, with two transported to a hospital for further evaluation.

Witnesses told NBC affiliate station KARE that they had seen smoke and the sprinklers go off in the rear of the venue before parts of the ceiling fell.

"There was, like, a smog throughout the whole building," Tess Brennan told KARE. "We thought maybe it was weed, maybe it was cigarette smoke then the sprinklers came on and everything just fell down."

Rolling Stone placed First Avenue at No. 3 on its list of "The Best Big Rooms in America." The musician Prince frequently played there in the 1980s. Local bands that achieved success — including Husker Du, The Replacements and Soul Asylum —played the venue early in their careers, according to First Avenue.