Most of the ceiling in Stoughton North 29 fell to the floor just before noon yesterday, sending dust and large chunks of plaster raining down on the heads of the students in the room and on their possessions.
Three first-years students suffered minor injuries from the collapse.
Students pulled the fire alarm, and police and fire units responded. The Cambridge Fire Department used hooks and pikes to pull down more of the ceiling while the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) shut down the building.
Timothy L. Lyons '04 was in the room when the ceiling collapsed.
"We didn't really see what happened, there was a lot of dust," Lyons said. "We just got out of there."
Hollis Hall resident Tessa V. Gonzalez '04 said the ceiling collapse was not preceded by any large noise or movement in the building.
"This was just random--it wasn't like an earthquake or anything, just boom," added Tessa V. Gonzalez '04 of Hollis.
Lyons and the other students in the room at the time received only minor scratches and bruises--nothing that required medical attention.