1. ITV Report

Falling ceiling tiles force Library of Birmingham to close

Exterior of the Library of Birmingham, where ceiling tiles crashed to the floor last night Photo: PA

Readers in Birmingham's flagship £190 million library were forced to leave early on Tuesday night after ceiling tiles fell to the floor.

Three tiles came loose and fell at around 5.30pm yesterday, and those inside were ushered away from the reading areas an hour and a half before the library's normal closing time of 8.00pm.

The Library of Birmingham was open again as normal today, after the remaining ceiling tiles were declared safe.

The Rotunda inside the Library of Birmingham, it's not clear exactly where the tiles fell Credit: PA

Job seeker Robert Burley, 52, of Sparkhill, Birmingham, said people were "pretty miffed" at having to leave the library unexpectedly.

He said:

"People were just told to vacate the building. None of the staff seemed to know what was happening and there were lots of rumours flying around.??

We were told the library wouldn't be open again that day and there was a lot of grumbling.

People were pretty miffed because there a big lack of information. It was quite disappointing."

– Robert Burley, Library user
Natural light pours in through the top Credit: Christian Richters/PA

Brian Gambles, director of the library in Centenary Square, said:

"On Tuesday afternoon a short section of three ceiling panels in the Library of Birmingham fell down.

“Due to the number of this type of panel in the building, library management took the decision to lose at 5.30pm as a precautionary measure, pending an engineer's?> inspection."?

The unexpected closure came just days after it was revealed tens of thousands of books have been left out of reach over health and safety fears, as the shelves are too high for the equipment that is currently in place.