14 taken to hospital after 2 trees uprooted at Sembawang Park

14 taken to hospital after 2 trees uprooted at Sembawang Park

Sembawang Park fallen tree incident 3
Fourteen people were injured after the tree fell in Sembawang Park. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

SINGAPORE: Fourteen people were taken to hospital on Thursday (Dec 20) evening after a tree at Sembawang Park fell on a shelter during a thunderstorm.

It was one of two trees that were uprooted during intense thunderstorms and gusty winds on Thursday evening, the National Parks Board (NParks) said.

The tree that fell on the shelter was an Erythrophleum suaveolens, commonly known as a red water tree. It was around 21m tall, according to NParks.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that it responded to the incident at Beaulieu Road at about 5.55pm. Rescue and medical resources were dispatched to the scene. 

There were no trapped casualties when SCDF arrived at the scene and the 14 people were taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in SCDF ambulances.

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Another tree, a Tabebuia rosea, also known as a trumpet tree, was also uprooted in the storm, NParks said.

Sembawang Park trees uprooted infographic

Mr Chuah Hock Seong, NParks group director for parks, said the board was investigating the cause of the incident.

"We understand that all the injured persons are in stable condition and we are in the midst of getting in touch with them and their families," he added.

Tree fall Sembawang Park Lim Hock Lye
A tree fell at Sembawang Park on Thursday (Dec 20), injuring 14 people. (Photo: Lim Hock Lye)

INJURED WERE HAVING CHRISTMAS PARTY BEFORE TREE FELL

Mr Lim Hock Lye, who owns restaurant Beaulieu House in Sembawang Park, told Channel NewsAsia that he saw police and SCDF officers in the park at around 6pm.

Sembawang Park fallen tree incident 2
Workers clear away the fallen tree at Sembawang Park. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

Sembawang Park fallen tree incident 4
Workers were seen clearing the fallen tree debris on Thursday evening. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

He said he heard from a passer-by that a group of about 10 to 15 were having a Christmas party near a playground. They took shelter in a pavilion, which was crushed when the tree fell on it, he said.

"I understand from the other people there that there's a group of around 10 to 15 persons partying, then the sudden rain came and they took cover," he said.

"I think it's because of the heavy rain and thunderstorm, the old tree was tilted, and it crushed onto the shelter, so those people taking cover under there got injured."

READ: Tembusu tree accident: Death of woman a 'tragic misadventure', says coroner

READ: Inspection of trees in Singapore in line with global standards: NParks in 2017

READ: NParks arborists inspect trees under its purview; job not outsourced: Lawrence Wong in 2017

Sembawang Park fallen tree incident 1
Workers clear away the fallen tree at Sembawang Park. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

Source: CNA/hs/nc/hm(aj/dt)

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