Multiple People Injured During Panic at Hamilton Performance in San Francisco
After an audience member had a medical emergency, the confusion resulted in "an unorganized rapid exit of the theater," the San Francisco Fire Department said
A mass panic interrupted a performance of Hamilton at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco on Friday night, after a medical emergency was mistaken for an active shooter.
According to the San Francisco Fire Department, an adult in the audience had a medical emergency during the show around 9:51 p.m PST.
Lt. Jonathan Baxter, a representative for the fire department, confirmed to PEOPLE that a woman suffered a heart attack. Baxter added that a defibrillator was pulled off a wall at the theater to aid the woman, which then caused the fire alarm to go off. She was taken to the hospital and listed in critical condition on Friday night, the department said.
The confusion from the alarm resulted in “an unorganized rapid exit of the theater,” the department said on Friday. Authorities initially reported that three audience members were injured during the stampede — two with “moderate” injuries and one with a broken leg. All three individuals were taken to the hospital.
Baxter told PEOPLE on Saturday that one additional person was found to have been injured after their initial report.
WFLA reported that the confusion may have been because the medical emergency came at the same time as a duel scene in the musical in which gunfire can be heard.
Videos posted on social media showed the extent of the chaos and confusion that occurred at the performance. “Hamilton cast walking back to the theater after the crowd panicked as they mistook a medical emergency for an active shooter,” one observer wrote on Instagram, sharing a video of people applauding the cast as they walked back inside.
Journalist Joe Khalil added that the crowd was “running for the exits and ducking for cover” and that “shouts of ‘gun’ could be heard” while another user said the scene was “pandemonium.”
In a statement to PEOPLE on Saturday, the theatre company that put on the production, SHN: Broadway in San Francisco, said: “The producers of Hamilton and SHN are reviewing the events that brought an abrupt end to the performance in San Francisco last night and resulted in alarm and confusion for the audience at the SHN Orpheum Theatre… We remain dedicated to protecting the safety of our audiences and our own company members in every city where Hamilton plays.”
SHN added that audience members who attended Friday night’s performance are “in the process of being contacted to return to see Hamilton at the Orpheum.”