8 taken to hospital after D.C. ceiling collapse

Perhaps they did not bring down the house, but musicians may have helped bring down the ceiling Friday night at a reception that opened a D.C. government exhibition on Washington’s go-go music, authorities said.

Eight people were taken to hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries after acoustic ceiling foam fell onto the audience in a building at 200 I St. SE, where the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities was holding kicking off a two-month exhibition titled “Go-Go Swing: Washington, D.C.’s Unstoppable Beat.”

The band Black Alley was playing when dust, debris and the foam insulation came down. Work had been under way earlier on the floor above, and investigators think that a combination of the construction and vibrations from the show caused the foam to detach, said Capt. Louis Carter of the D.C. fire department.

That ended the night’s events. Five people were taken to George Washington University Hospital and three to Howard University Hospital. They were expected to be released Friday night.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.

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