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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 December, 2003, 01:48 GMT
Toronto cinema collapse kills one
Damaged buildings
At least three children were injured in the collapse
One man was killed and more than a dozen were hurt as a building collapsed in the Canadian city of Toronto.

Part of the Uptown Theatre, a disused cinema in the process of being demolished, fell onto neighbouring buildings including a school.

Firefighters called off a search of the rubble at 6pm local time (2300GMT), saying no-one was left trapped.

Fourteen people - including at least three children - were injured in the collapse and taken to hospital.

The school involved, the Yorkville English Academy, teaches English as a second language and is normally used by young adults.

But at the time of the collapse, three children - aged eight, 10 and 11 - were there with their teacher.

All were injured, with one sustaining what a hospital spokesperson called "crushing injuries to the lower limbs".

The accident occurred when a tall wall from the cinema fell through during demolition.

There are unconfirmed reports that it was struck by a crane.

An eyewitness compared the sound to the dull roar of an earthquake.

The BBC's Lee Carter, in Toronto, says such incidents are rare because of the city's strict building codes.

'Immense time'

Toronto Fire Chief Bill Stewart confirmed that one person had died in the collapse.

"It's going to take an immense amount of time to get into the rubble and shore it up," Chief Stewart added.

The Uptown Theatre opened in 1920, first as a venue for stage shows and for the past few decades as a cinema.

It is located in one of the densest parts of Toronto city centre, and was the subject of an unsuccessful campaign attempting to prevent its demolition.




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