Panic-stricken fans screamed in the dark as they tried to scramble from the buckled scaffolding which had slid forward, trapping them in the tangled structure.
Promoters immediately stopped the show, the opening date on the group's first British tour for seven years, and evacuated the 15,500-seat arena as ambulance crews freed people from the wreckage. Twenty-eight people were taken to hospital, some with back injuries and broken bones, and six stayed in overnight. About 60 more were treated for shock and minor injuries at the scene.
One fan, Adrian Jenkins, said: 'Everyone was stamping at the start of the show and then there was a big rumble and we just dropped six feet. People started screaming, trying to get out. It was pandemonium. We didn't know if we were going to drop again. There seemed to be just small bolts and screws holding up the seats.'
The group immediately promised a rescheduled show on Monday, which was confirmed early today after health and safety, police and fire officers had visited the arena. The planned run of 14 shows will continue tonight.
The owners of Earls Court said the seating had been used both there and at Olympia on many occasions and had been inspected earlier in the day by the local authority.