Large sections of the fabric roof of London’s O2 Arena have been shredded by strong winds from Storm Eunice, causing the venue to close, according to the BBC. The South London venue has been hit by winds of up to 90 mph in one of the worst storms to hit the United Kingdom in recent memory.
The closure looks to be relatively brief: a show tonight by AP Dhillon has been moved to Tuesday.
A statement on the venue’s website reads: “Due to today’s adverse weather conditions, we can confirm that there has been some damage caused to the tent fabric in our roof at The O2. The affected areas have been cleared and The O2 will remain closed for the rest of the day. Tonight’s AP Dhillon show at indigo at The O2 is being rescheduled to Tuesday 22nd February. Please check the event page for further info. The safety of our visitors remains of paramount importance, and we will continue to assess the ongoing situation and act accordingly.”
Dome update – six panels shredded and counting ! pic.twitter.com/p2AVhf17Ly
— Ben Hubbard (@BJFHubbard) February 18, 2022
Firefighters have attended the #O2 this afternoon after the canvas roof came loose in high winds #StormEunice There has been no structural damage to the building https://t.co/jlCRgWEgSe pic.twitter.com/k1GyvcoCR5
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) February 18, 2022
The building has been evacuated and will be shut for the rest of Friday. “The safety of our visitors remains of paramount importance,” the O2 said in a statement. “We will continue to assess the ongoing situation and act accordingly,” a spokesperson added to the BBC.
Primary school teacher Lucy Sloan told the BBC she heard a “big bang” before being led away by security. “I looked up to see part of the roof had ripped. My parents were quite shaken.”
The 20,000-capacity arena is the only venue of its size in the Greater London area and has a busy schedule in the coming weeks, averaging three or four concerts or sporting events per week. The venue hosted the BRIT Awards last week, where Adele led award-winners with three.