Woman dies after tree falls on her
NParks says tree was inspected last April, Marsiling Park remains safe to visit
A 38-year-old woman was killed yesterday morning after a tree fell on her in Marsiling Park.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force was alerted to the incident at around 8.15am.
Officers used cutting equipment to extricate Miss Loke Xiao Li, whose lower body was trapped under the tree. Paramedics pronounced the woman dead at the scene, and the police are investigating the unnatural death.
Dr Leong Chee Chiew, commissioner of parks and recreation of National Parks Board (NParks), said in a statement that the Araucaria excelsa - it was 20m tall, had a girth of 1.3m and was about 20 years old - was found to be healthy when it was last inspected in April 2020. It was due for its next inspection in October.
He said: "We are investigating the cause of the tree fall. We are sad that there was one fatality. Our priority now is to accord assistance to the family of the deceased."
Miss Loke was a senior technical coordinator at CNA studio and had worked for Mediacorp for almost six years.
The company said: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of our colleague. We have reached out to her family to offer our condolences and support. She was someone who many of her teammates and colleagues looked up to. We are also providing support to our staff who are affected by this tragic loss."
Kayden Teo, a 15-year-old student, and his friend witnessed the entire incident. He told Shin Min Daily News that he heard "a loud cracking" as the tree fell and hit Miss Loke. When he ran to her, she was conscious but unable to speak. Kayden and his friend, and other passers-by "tried to lift the trunk" for about 10 minutes, "but it was too heavy... ".
Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad, who is an MP for the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, expressed his condolences to the family of Miss Loke, a resident of his ward, in a Facebook post yesterday.
He has "asked NParks to check and review the condition of the trees and the safety of facilities in the area".
According to Dr Leong, the trees were checked yesterday "as a precautionary measure" and the park "remains open and is safe for the public to visit". He added: "With the strengthening of our tree management regime over the years, the annual number of tree incidents has fallen from about 3,100 cases in year 2001 to about 420 in 2019 and around 340 cases as of end 2020."