A 38-year-old woman died after a tree fell on her at Marsiling Park on Thursday (18 February) morning.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) revealed that they received a call for assistance at about 8.15am and found a person trapped under a fallen tree.
On the scene, SCDF officers used cutting equipment to extricate the woman, who was pronounced dead by the paramedic at the scene.
The police are currently investigating the matter.
According to the Chinese newspaper Lianhe Zaobao, the woman was running when the unfortunate incident happened.
Commissioner of Parks and Recreation at the National Parks Board (NParks), Dr Leong Chee Chiew, was quoted by The Straits Times (ST) saying that the 20m-tall Araucaria excelsa tree, which had a girth of 1.3m, was found to be healthy when an inspection was conducted on it in April last year.
“We are sad that there was one fatality. Our priority now is to accord assistance to the family of the deceased,” he said.
The board is also investigating the incident.
When the incident happened, eyewitnesses said that they heard a loud crack before the tree fell, pinning the woman under it. About 10 passers-by tried to lift the tree to help the victim but were unsuccessful.
15-year-old Kayden Teo and his friends were among those who tried to help with lifting the tree. Speaking to ST, he said: “We were walking across the bridge (over the pond) and heard a loud crack and a splash. A tall tree fell and we ran over to help a woman who was stuck underneath it.”
Similar incidents that happened in the past
This is not the first of such incidents to happens in the country. On 11 February 2017, a 38-year-old Indian woman was killed after a 40m-tall Tembusu tree fell on her at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Her 39-year-old French husband and their two children, aged one, were injured in the incident.
The family was participating a public concert at the Gardens when the unfortunate incident happened.
Besides them, a 26-year-old Singaporean woman was also injured in the incident.
Responding to the accident, NParks noted that the tree was more than 270 years old and predated the establishment of the Gardens. It fell and brought down the surrounding palm trees as well.
When tree was last inspected more than a year earlier (September 2016), NParks said that it was healthy.
Her husband is suing NParks for negligence and is seeking damages. However, NParks has rejected the allegations of its negligence, or that of its servants an agents as being the cause of the tree collapsing.
The civil case is ongoing in court.
Separately, in November 2019, a tree fell on a car at Scotts Roads, in front of the Grand Hyatt Singapore hotel.
The driver was unhurt but the rear windscreen of his white Subaru was shattered. No other injuries were reported.