14 people were taken to the hospital after one of the trees fell onto a shelter in Sembawang Park.

Two trees, last inspected in May 2017 and assessed to be healthy, fell at Sembawang Park on 20 Dec. 14 people were taken to the hospital after one of the trees fell onto a shelter in Sembawang Park.

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

Fortunately, there were no trapped casualties, and no one was seriously injured. 14 out of the 17 people were taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

The group was celebrating Christmas with food and drinks before they seek shelter when it started raining heavily. The tree then fell on the roof and crushed it.

National Parks Board (NParks) group director Chuah Hock Seong, said that the board was investigating the cause of the incident, but speculated that the trees may have been uprooted due to the thunderstorm.

“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,” Chuah added.

According to the guidelines of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), trees are inspected and pruned every 12 to 24 months, sometimes more often, based on various factors such as location, species, age and the conditions of the trees.

NParks also stressed that their officers perform regular checks on the trees when they carry out their routine rounds around streetscapes and parks. NParks further said that these checks will intensify during periods of adverse weather conditions to pick out trees for targeted tree pruning and crown reduction or more detailed inspection.

The area affected by the fallen trees is cordoned off to facilitate clearance work. The rest of the park remains open to visitors.

Good job SCDF for their prompt response. Then again, buy 4D also not so heng ah. Nonetheless, stay safe everyone when you play hard during this festive season.

Chuan-Jin Chen



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