Nearly 5,000 people showed up Monday night at the Sacramento-area mall to spread holiday cheer in an event organized on Twitter and Facebook by a local choral society. But the scene turned from joy to fright when spectators said the floor of the food court at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville started to shift beneath them as the group began its rendition of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus."
"Somebody reported hearing two pops that sounded like the floor was giving way and another said the floor was shifting," Tom Dodaro of the Roseville Fire Department told The Sacramento Bee.
The defiant carolers sang Christmas songs as officials ushered them out of the shopping center and a police helicopter sent to the scene roared overhead, according to the Sacramento Press, a local blog.
The "random act of musical kindness" promoted by the Sacramento Choral Society didn't last long, but no injuries were reported.
Earlier this month, the Choral Society had advertised the Roseville Mall caroling on its website, noting that the shopping center had finally reopened after a fire.
"Come join our large Chorus of area Singers as they burst into Handel's Hallelujah Chorus much to the surprise and delight of Shoppers in the Food Court of the recently reopened Westfield Galleria at Roseville," the website said.
The mall has since been deemed safe and stores are open again.