Singapore: Tree falls in Sembawang Park, injures 14 during intense thunderstorms

Hospital (Representational picture) Pixabay

Fourteen people were injured and taken to hospital after a tree fell on a pavilion in Sembawang Park on Thursday, December 20.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that they were alerted to the incident at around 6 pm on Thursday in Beaulieu Road. After their arrival to the spot, the officials could not find any trapped people and took 14 individuals to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), located at 90Yishun Central, by SCDF ambulances.

As reported a group of 17 people, aged between 19 and 44, were celebrating Christmas. After the rain was started they moved into a pavilion and then suddenly the accident happened. Later on Thursday, the National Parks Board stated that two trees were uprooted around 5.30pm at Sembawang Park. The trees were Tabebuia rosea, which is also known as trumpet tree.

In addition, NParks also said that the incident happened when the northern part of the island was witnessing intense thunderstorms with heavy winds that started at around 5 pm, but the rain had eased by 6.30 pm.

Since the pathway of the park was completely blocked by the tree, the workers cut it down to clear the area.

A 44-year-old supervisor in the transport industry said that her friends were trapped under the log and roof. Even though they survived, all of them had cuts and were bleeding. The chief executive of SMRT, Neo Kian Hong went to KTPH at about 10 pm to see the injured people.

He said that "We're just very concerned about our staff," and SMRT will be supporting all those injured individuals.

As per the survivors, when the tree fell there were sharp edges poking into the pavilion but none of them tried to push the tree up. But some of the people crawled out from underneath.

National Environment Agency (NEA) stated in a tweet that the northern part of the country had experienced moderate to heavy thundery showers with gusty wind. Earlier, Oh Cheow Sheng, NParks streetscape group director said that to prepare for such weather conditions, the authority "has strengthened our management of trees by replacing storm-vulnerable trees, and carrying out targeted pruning and crown reduction prior to the monsoon season."